Animal Antics Book Review

We all love animals – the silly, funny and crazy ways they behave, eat, and play!

About Animal Antics

Kids love animals – they love the silly, funny and crazy ways they behave, eat, and play. Animal Antics is full of fascinating facts that takes a look at the engaging, informative, humorous and intriguing aspects of animal behavior including why blue-footed boobies like to dance, why a goose whiffles, or why penguins like to steal food.Using a selection of funny animal pictures from swinging pandas to ninja lizards to weightlifting ants and back-scratching monkeys to frolicking frogs and giraffes doing splits, the reasons behind what these animals do are explained in accompanying, bite-sized informative text that helps young readers understand why animals behave the way they do.

With a collection of photography guaranteed to make children laugh out loud, kids will go wild for Animal Antics.

Our Thoughts

We love animals in our home – our two dogs leave us laughing, hearts warm with the love they give and keep us on our toes. We couldn’t wait to dive into this hard cover book after reading the book description to learn about the funny side of animals.

This beautiful letter size, hard cover book features one to two animals for every two page spread. The photographs of each animal are stunning and wonderfully capture their humour and personalities (my favourite images were of the elephant seal, red eyed tree frog, brown bear and jaguar). Each animal also has roughly a paragraph to two dedicated to them. The paragraph explains their quirks and what makes them so unique. We loved learning about the animals – we learned so many new facts. Who knew that a guinea pig’s front teeth never stop growing or that polar bears use snow to dry off after they have been in the water! Neat right?

Animal Antics would make a perfect gift for the animal fan in your life – the one that loves learning fun, new facts that will make them laugh and encourage them to discover more. The amazing photographs help bring to life the funny personality of each animal, they are stunning and just adorable (you just want to pick those animals up and cuddle them!). We loved Animal Antics and couldn’t wait to share all we learned with family.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Indigo.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Above the Star Book Review

iRead Book Tours

The 8th Island Trilogy includes Above the StarBelow the Moon, and Inside the Sun. Over the three books, we follow the adventures of a quirky family, the Wellsleys. The main characters are frumpy senior citizen Archie, his daughter-in-law, Tessa, and his ill fourteen-year-old granddaughter Ella.

About Above the Star

When frumpy senior citizen Archie goes in search of his missing son in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: locating a magical cure for his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a stone-headed creature named Zeno are transported to Jarr-Wya, a magnificent yet terrifying island in a connected realm―along with Ella and her strong-willed mother, Tessa, who accidentally stow away on this not-so-secret quest.

What they find on Jarr-Wya is an island tortured by a wicked Star anchored in the sea, and a raging three-way battle for dominion between the stone-wielding Bangols, the fiery Olearons, and the evil Millia sands. Ella’s wit and resourcefulness emerge in this new world, while Tessa is forced to confront her long-buried secrets and a confusing new love triangle. When Ella is captured, Tessa and Archie―with the help of a company of peculiar allies―set out to save her and unravel the terrible mystery of her cure. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night adventure of three unlikely heroes, Above the Star reminds us that even the smallest act of bravery can transform our lives and the fates of the worlds around us.

My Thoughts

In this novel we are introduced to quite a few key characters in this series and an amazing magical world that is facing a crisis that could destroy the world as they know it.

At the heart of the story is a family that is struggling through their daughter’s diagnosis (and potential death), a father who has disappeared and a grandfather who is quirky. Archie (grandfather) is determined to find his son and find a cure to save his granddaughter. He follows a magical trail that takes himself, his daughter in law and sick grandchild on a cruise and mysterious clues tracking his son. Nothing could have prepared him or any one on that cruise for the horrors and mystery that awaits them when they are all accidentally transported to a new world.

When the ship is transported to a brand new world, they are met with violence and death which threw me a bit (I wasn’t expecting this at all!). Alexis draws us into this new world with brilliant descriptions of the people and land, I could easily bring the characters to life in my own mind. It is a beautiful but terrifying reality that they live in.

I loved the characters, they are real, with flaws that we can all relate to and struggle with parenting, making decisions and coming to terms with illness. You can’t help but adore Ella, who is smart, full of spunk and is a fighter. She is a young girl caught between wanting to enjoy her youth and knowing that she is so unwell. She struggles with her relationship at times with her Mother but loves her family more than anything in the world. Her family is doing everything they can to fight for Ella, keep themselves together, and picking up the pieces after her Father disappears. Throw in some magical creatures, mysterious civilization, a world that is falling apart and at war – you have quite the tale!

This is an excellent novel for readers of all ages, there is something for everyone, adventure, science fiction, mystery and more. It is well written with well developed characters that you just can’t help but love. It is a definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, Target, Book Depository and Google Play.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning author, artist, photographer, art curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work. Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE PRINCESS BRIDE” by The Perpetual You magazine, and “Fast and bizarre… never a dull moment” by Forward Reviews. The 8th Island Trilogy “weaves STAR WARS-like characters with a WONDER-like message to form an enrapturing read for blooklovers of all ages” – US Review of Books. Chute’s bestselling memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss, was a top Kirkus title of 2017 and received a plethora of other literary distinctions. The memoir was accompanied by the feature documentary of the same name, which has screened internationally for the last three years. Chute received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Alberta, Canada, and studied at Media Design school in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated valedictorian with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, USA. Chute is a highly regarded public speaker. She has presented on art, writing, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. Contact the Author/Artist for bookings info@alexismariechute.com When not in her art/photo studio or at her computer, Chute loves to spend quality time with her family, read fiction and non-fiction, watch reality TV, paddleboard, and canoe. She is not a winter person but lives in frosty Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with her husband and their three living children.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Five Before Rome: 5 Preludes to the Roma Series

iRead Book Tours

Learn all about the five men who the Roma Series centres around in Five Before Rome.

About Five Before Rome

These five novellas precede Roma, Underground, the first novel in the Roma Series. Meet the five men, who form the team around Bianca, and learn about their personal history, their respective parts of Italy, and why they each have a stake in the fight against organized crime.

My Thoughts

I loved the Roma series and the way that Gabriel writes his stories. The stories keep you on your toes, always guessing what would happen next and the characters are well developed and realistic. I couldn’t wait to pop open this book to see how these five men began their careers fighting organized crime. I love to learn about that turning point in a persons life that sets them down their current path and this novel does not disappoint.

Gabriel packs a lot of background and history into each of the five novellas, which is no easy feat. Sometimes I worry when I read a novella that it would feel rushed and have gaps but these ones were perfect. The novellas introduce us to slightly younger versions of our favourite characters and their exposure to organized crime. We follow along in these novellas as they solve the crimes in each of their regions. We learn more about their personal history and how they came to their current region, their family life and more.

Five Before Rome is an excellent read that is not overwhelming but weaves a great story around organized crime, murder, lies and more. The novellas are well written and engaging, and are a great prelude to the Roma series.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston’s South End where he enjoys the local restaurants. When he isn’t appeasing Munchkin, his cat, with tuna, he documents the #dogsofsouthendboston on Instagram. His short stories have appeared online, in journals, and in several anthologies. Gabriel is the author of two series, Roma and Company Files, with Winter Goose Publishing. He was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery for Company Files: 2. The Naming Game in 2020. Gabriel has been a finalist for the Fish Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and received an Honorable Mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018. Dirty Old Town, the first in the Shane Cleary series, was published in 2020 by Level Best Books. Gabriel attends crime fiction conferences, such as Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, and New England Crime Bake. He is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Connect with him on his website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Sesame Street: When You Wish Upon a Pickle

Shout! Kids Factory

When a mysterious wishing machine is delivered to Sesame Street, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, and Ernie find their wishes coming true after they talk to the magical pickle inside.

About Sesame Street: When You Wish Upon a Pickle

Winner of the 2019 Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Children’s Program,Sesame Street – When You Wish Upon a Pickle will be available for digital download on June 2, 2020 from Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop.

The primetime special features guest appearances by Blake Lively and Amanda Seyfried!

When a mysterious wishing machine is delivered to Sesame Street, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, and Ernie find their wishes coming true after they talk to the magical pickle inside. One word of warning though: when you wish upon a pickle, make sure you read ALL the directions first!

When Elmo wishes to be a grown-up and run Hooper’s Store, he switches bodies with Chris. When Ernie tries to help his friend achieve his dream of becoming a TV meteorologist, Bert ends up trapped in the television, dashing from show to show. Cookie Monster’s wish for more cookies results in more Cookie…Monsters! Abby teams up with her favorite storybook detective – brought to life by a wish, to figure out what’s going on in the neighborhood. In the end, the gang learns that if they believe in themselves, they can be anything they want to be — without needing magic.

We love the Sesame Street characters and this feature does not disappoint! How can you resist making a wish? I know we at home constantly make wishes or wish we were something different (‘I wish I could play with Messi!’). As the characters play different roles, they learn a very important lesson (something that we try so hard to teach our children). If they believe in themselves, they can be anything they want to be (no magic needed!). We all have special talents that we should be proud of. This will be a new favourite in your home and as we spend more time at home due to COVID, a win win for families. You can download the feature here.

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Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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We The People: The United States Constitution Explored and Explained

See the U.S.A Constitution in a new light with this bold, modern and accessible illustrated guide to the document that helped define democracy.

About We The People: The United States Constitution Explored and Explained

With the 2020 Presidential election around the corner, there has never been a better time to take a closer look at the Constitution, the bedrock of U.S. politics. Inquisitive minds will have their questions vividly answered (and new ones raised) by a mix of illustrations and clear, engaging text, including passages from the Constitution given in plain English.

As well as a detailed history covering the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights and all Amendments, discover how this milestone in American democracy shapes and is shaped by the world at large. We The People shows that the U.S. Constitution is a living, evolving rulebook that is as relevant today as it has ever been.

Our Thoughts

As a Canadian, I was not familiar with the U.S. Constitution. I have heard several parts in the news but did not really understand the amendments and how the government worked.

I loved the foreword of this book, as it truly sets the tone for what is to come. It encourages you to challenges your beliefs, the Constitution wording and to take action about the things you belief in. It encourages you to understand and appreciate that any person has the ability to make a change and difference, in order to make the country they live in a great place to do so.

From here the book jumps into the basics of the Constitution, the three branches of government, the Preamble, articles and then Amendments. I enjoyed learning about the Preamble (basically an introduction) as it helps to explain why the Constitution exists, what it is supposed to accomplish and who it is for. The book then jumps into an explanation of seven articles and the Bill of Rights.

What I enjoyed the most of this book is that it did not just explain the history of the articles and Amendments and what this means but it also gives you how people championed for equal rights for all people under each of these rights, key individuals in this fight, and encourages you to challenge what you know by asking questions. “What do you think?” questions are asked quite frequently throughout the book, these questions encourage the reader to think about how society is now, why this topic is important and at times how could we do better. This book also includes several, ‘Did you know facts’ under each topic along with fun facts – many that I did not know (for me, I learned the District of Columbia is a territory and does not have any members of Congress, and this was done so that the capital of the United States of America would belong to everyone!). I enjoyed learning about key political characters that helped create the country we all know now.

This book is geared towards older children but can still be enjoyed by younger children when read with an adult. It challenges your thinking, beliefs and encourages you to understand the rights and freedoms for all people. It is a celebration of the rights and freedoms that the citizens of the U.S. enjoy and how they interact with their daily lives. The illustrations are bright and engaging which is great for young readers. This is a book for all readers and you can see this through the title and through the way the book is written.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Evan Sargent is an intuitive creative director, strategist and designer with a knack for seeing the big picture. Her background includes over a decade as an art director and creative director in advertising – more recently, she has become a political activist and community organizerWe The People is her first children’s book.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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