Posted in Book Reviews

2017 Holiday Guft Guide: Everybody’s Somewhere: Cornelia Maude Spelman


SYNOPSIS: ‘With bold artwork and playful, bouncy rhymes, Everybody’s Somewhere asks children to expand their perspective.

In its simplest reading, Everybody’s Somewhere is a book about perspective — Everybody—moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, friends, and people you’ve never met—is somewhere in the world, doing something right now, even if you can’t see them. And this is a very important lesson for kids to learn.

The book also includes people from all over the world with difference interests, cultures, and abilities. People you know and people you don’t. In current times, it is very important for children — indeed, for everyone — to understand that people next door or around the globe are just like us. Kids need to feel connected to others in our diverse but increasingly interconnected world. To quote the book “Everywhere there’s someone underneath a star,” and there’s room for everyone, including them.

There’s also a nod to military families when talking about seeing a loved one after a long separation.’

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Everybody’s Somewhere’ is a great gift idea for the holidays. With so many families having to be apart, children need affirmation they they are loved. I loved seeing the illustration of the reunited military family. If you are a military family or know of one, this book will be great to share. That way both the child and loved one will each have a copy to relate to. Perhaps it could be read to the child by the service member.

I was also very pleased to see the depiction of a child in a wheelchair participating in a race. She was competing alongside everyone else instead of being on the sidelines. Fantastic! Young readers need to see more of that kind of inclusion and acceptance.

Our author follows an easy-to-read rhyme format that will keep kids’ attention. We all know how they love to rhyme! I would rank the book for ages up to 3rd grade. I love the thought of helping kids feel connected to those who can’t be with them for various reasons. Hopefully, it will help young readers ease their anxiety and calm their worries. A huge plus for the book is the illustrations. They are beautiful, colorful and definitely will have children pausing on each page to view all the incredible details included by Alea Marley.

All-in-all, I give ‘Everybody’s Somewhere’ three stars.
*Pic and synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher
**We received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Product Reviews

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: WordSpiel

Does your family love games? We do. In fact, we’re pretty competitive. When we were given the opportunity to try, WordSpiel, we jumped at the chance.
I imagine that the first thing that caught your attention is its original name. It’s a combination of two words- just like you’ll be doing during play! Learning to play is simple. We only had to go over the instructions once (which is rare!). The cards each have a letter on them.
Shuffle the deck. My husband got to show off his mad shuffling skills! Deal the cards. Make words based off the word your fellow play just made. Set the timer. Everyone gets 60 seconds to form their word. Easy, peasy.
Play five rounds. When a player runs out of hand-held cards, the round is over. Everyone else adds up the cards in their hands- one point per card. At the end of five rounds, whomever has the lowest score win! Although Buster insisted on playing, we had to decline his efforts. ‘Ruff, ruff’ didn’t translate. 
Having 5 rounds makes the game last longer. Easy counting with one point for each card allows even those who aren’t math whizzes can keep score. Large print for the letters on the cards make sure that every card is read accurately and clearly seen from every angle around the table.
MY THOUGHTS: What I love about this word game is that, unlike other tile-based games, even elementary spellers can play. With little assistance, children who can articulate three-letter words can play. For example, an adult spells out ‘Houses’. A child can build on the ‘s’ and make ‘saw’. As a homeschooler, I love that it builds confidence in those who are struggle with Language Arts Skills.
It’s thought-provoking. Conversations are sparked when players inquire why some used a particular word. Younger children may ask for definitions and spelling affirmation. In fact, playing ‘WordSpiel’ may just count as a class for your homeschool.
Family-owned Set Games has absolutely done it again! They produce fabulous, family-centered games. Affordable and in a small package, ‘WordSpiel’ can be used as a stocking stuffer or as a stand alone gift. Personally, I’d use it as a gift to the family as a whole. With cold, wintry days ahead, you’ll love staying toasty playing ‘WordSpeil’! I highly recommend it. Full disclosure: I won at the end of 5 rounds. Yeah, me!!

Visit them:
http://www.setgames.com

https://www.facebook.com/Set.Enterprises/

**Pics beling to DMO3 and Set Games ONLY.
*We received the aforementioned product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.