Posted in Giveaways

#Giveaways 4/30

Enter to WIN a taste of Paris with your own box of macarons and a copy of The Paris Writers Circle #giveaway #win

Insider Alexis- Amazon gift card giveaway #giveaway #win

Game of Thrones Giveaway #giveaway #win #thebourbonreview #bourbonoutfitter #bourbon
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Posted in Giveaways

Giveaways 4/29

Tree Hut Arbor Day Giveaway #giveaway #win

Win the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite tablet #giveaway #win

Enter the IHOP Gift Card Giveaway #giveaway #win
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Posted in Book Reviews

Two New Butterfly Books to Celebrate Spring

THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books / $19.99 / April 2, 2019)
Step inside the butterfly house, where wonderful, winged insects await. Spot the sleepy oranges mud-puddling, the monarchs migrating, or the green swallowtail beating its shimmering wings. With information on many butterfly and moth families, this gift package is the perfect introduction to the world’s most beautiful insects.
The author
Alice Pattullo is an illustrator based in East London. She produces limited edition screen prints for exhibition and sale in various galleries and shops across the UK. Alongside this Alice works on commissioned illustrations for a variety of clients including Betty’s and Taylor’s of Harrogate, Bon Appetit, Esquire, Cecil Sharp House, Country Living, Crabtree and Evelyn, Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, Design for Today, Faber, Nandos, National Trust, Sainsburys, The V&A Museum, and The Village Voice.
KATY FLINT is a children’s book author and editor, based in London. She is the author of the best-selling sound book The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker, and has worked on many other non-fiction titles – from human bodies to dinosaurs. She likes playing the violin and dog-spotting.

HOW TO BE A BUTTERFLY (words & pictures / $17.95 / April 16, 2019)
A joyous, imaginative, yet informative non-fiction picture book about what it takes to be a butterfly – body parts, behavior and life cycle – with the underlying message that diversity is a wonderful thing. With labelled butterflies throughout, there is plenty for young nature lovers to spot and explore time and again.
Catell Ronca was born in Basel, Switzerland and lives and works in Lucerne. Catell graduated from the Royal College of Art in London and works for a variety of international clients in publishing, editorial and advertising. Her work is regularly recognised in Illustration Annuals. Her plant illustrations are expressive, bold, lively, and saturated in colour.
Laura Knowles has a background in children’s publishing and is the author of We Travel So Far, Once Upon a Jungle, The Coral Kingdom and It Starts with a Seed, winner of the 2017 Margaret Mallett Award for Children’s Non-fiction and shortlisted for the UKLA Book Award 2018. Her love of natural history, words and art have drawn her to work on books about animals and nature.

MY THOUGHTS: I am a big fan of both of these titles. In the Butterfly House’, we have the perfect reference guide for younger readers. Most children have a fascination with butterflies. There’s an almost magical simplicity to watching them silently fly. The school-age years are the perfect opportunity to nurture that fascination. By providing them with an educational yet appealing guidebook to what they’re seeing, they’ll be encouraged to continue learning about these amazing insects.
Those of us who often misidentify some moths and butterflies will also learn a great deal from the massive amount of information provided. Our author has done a fabulous job compiling over 100 species of them!
‘How to Be a Butterfly’ provides both a non-fiction, science viewpoint and a moral message of the beauty of diversity. After all, butterflies’ beauty lies in their diversity. Our author delivers 20,000 ways to be a butterfly. Now THAT’S diversity! But, the educational component is important too as readers are taught the anatomy, behavior, etc. of our winged friends.
Together, these books are an amazing find that need to be a part of any homeschool/classroom library. I was blown away by the amount of priceless information provided. Add to it the beautiful illustrations and you know these books will rarely remain on a shelf. I give them both 5 stars.

Posted in Uncategorized

Guest Post: Teachable Moments from God Disguised as Setbacks


Teachable Moments from God Disguised as Setbacks
By Peter Rosenberger

At a support group I regularly attend, a soda machine dispensing perfectly chilled drinks hums quietly against the wall. While seemingly a small thing, I enjoy the meetings with a refreshing beverage—taking a break from challenging days.

Uncharacteristically, the machine deviated from our regular transactions and took my money without providing a drink. Slightly irritated, I called the number posted on the machine and left a message for the vendor. Explaining that the machine took my money, I trusted the owner to properly manage the issue. Returning the next week, I held my breath while clinking coins into the slot. Surprisingly, two sodas tumbled out!
Chalking it up to “balance,” I gave the second soda to a friend. Giving a glance at the machine, I felt, “Hey …we’re even.”

The next week, the machine took my money—again.

Repeating the Process
Following the prior procedure, I expected the glitch to work itself out again. This time, however, no satisfaction came. Shaking and tipping the machine failed. In addition, reaching my arm up the slot proved futile. After pointlessly feeling resentment at the machine and the anonymous vendor, I eventually accepted it was broken. Throwing up my hands, I brought a bottle of water from home. In doing so, I protected my money, health, and peace of mind.

A teachable moment for caregivers
Sometimes caregivers put our treasure—our self-worth and peace of mind—into broken individuals. Furthermore, those individuals often lack the ability to respond in a way we’d like or that is appropriate. This may cause us to feel rejected and discouraged. Changing our perspective, however, helps us see our expectations are resentments waiting to happen. Demanding someone do something they can’t is like trying to buy bread at a hardware store.

Hateful words from a broken source
A woman recently called our program for caregivers on American Family Radio to share about her elderly mother with dementia. While struggling to return her to bed following a fall, her mother spewed the most hateful things to this caller. Clenching her teeth through hot tears, she safely helped her mother, but then took a break. She needed to step away for a moment to collect her thoughts and remind herself that words from someone with dementia do not get to pass judgment on her self-worth. In doing so, she reminded herself that “…the machine was broken,” and she needed to protect the treasure of her heart.

In general, human beings struggle with allowing others, by their comments or behavior, to pass judgment on our self-worth. The same people that say you’re wonderful—can turn right around and say you’re lousy. Who do you believe? From dementia to narcotics, or from chronic pain to alcohol, impairments come in all shapes and sizes. Looking for affirmation from someone “broken” or toxic, brings pain and disappointment.

Whether sidelined by a disability’s logistics or trapped within our own dark thoughts, every caregiver struggles with Isolation. In that isolation, we are often subjected to the negative behaviors of the one we care for, or our own self-judgment. Rather than trust the treasure of our self-worth to broken machines—to broken people—there’s a purer and better source of value offered to us. Lest we forget, some of our most Teachable Moments from God come Disguised as Setbacks

A Greater Source of Worth and Love
When we see the Cross, we see the great esteem and love our Savior has for us. Accepting God’s inexhaustible and perfect love for us, allows us to hide our treasure—our worth—with and in Him. That’s a safer place “…where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

Peter Rosenberger hosts a nationally syndicated radio program for family caregivers. For more than 30 years, he’s cared for his wife, Gracie, who lives with severe disabilities. He is the author of 7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them @hope4caregiver

Posted in Giveaways

#Giveaways 4/3

The Living Room Podcast – with Joanna Weaver #giveaway #win 4/30

Enter to #win a $25 Amazon gift card from Physicians Mutual! 5/13

Join this awesome #giveaway: “Canned Bitters and Soda Is the Only Drink I Want in My Fridge” @Thrillist #bittersandsoda via @hellacocktailco 1x 4/30
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Posted in Book Reviews, Homeschooling

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Wilderness: Earth’s Amazing Habitats by Mia Cassany

This captivating book brings the natural world into sharp focus. Beautifully colored and intricately detailed illustrations depict places as exotic and wide-ranging as Senegal’s Niokolo-Koba National Park, Russia’s Sikhote-Alin mountain range, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka, Daintree National Park in Australia, the Mexican desert, and China’s bamboo forests. The animals that live in these remote places, cleverly hidden in the trees, plants, and flowers, create a marvelous challenge for young readers to find and identify. Each spread contains more than twenty different species including birds, snakes, frogs, iguanas, leopards, tigers, gorillas, pandas, and wolves. The back of the book is filled with additional information about the animals and their habitats. Young readers will find much to discover, explore, and learn in this absorbing celebration of our planet and the amazing creatures we share it with.

MY THOUGHTS: This is an absolute must-have for homeschool classrooms. Each page contains intricate detail of animals, habitats, and geography. It is one of those nonfiction books which can be used for multiple classes: geography, science, and Language Arts. It could also be utilized for an incredible book report.
I was amazed at the level of information that our author packed into each paragraph. In fact, I felt ready for Jeopardy after I finished it!

Marcus Navarro has done an exquisite job with the pictures, allowing the specific animals to ‘come to life’ from the pages. I enjoyed the little smiles on some of their faces. While showcasing nature’s beauty, the illustrations don’t distract from the point of the book. They enhance it.

I appreciate that the author took time to explain larger, more complex terms. She also was careful to explain how & why the endangered species came to be endangered while not scaring younger readers. She makes the point without being graphic. All in all, it’s a brilliantly done book. I give it 5 stars with a high recommendation.
Illustrated by Marcos Navarro (ISBN: 978-3791373720; April 2019; Ages 6-9; Hardcover $19.95; 48 pages)

MIA CASSANY is the author of numerous books for children including Atlas of Imaginary Places and Great Ports of the World (both by Prestel). She is the co-founder of Mosquito Books. She lives in Barcelona, Spain.

MARCUS NAVARRO is an illustrator living in Spain. This is his first book.