Category: DK Canada

Bring Star Wars to Life with Star Wars Maker Lab

DK Canada

Ever wanted to move things without touching them like a Jedi can? Or grow your own kyber crystal? Now you can (and maybe just maybe you can share with your child!).

About Star Wars Maker Lab

With 20 amazing projects, Star Wars™ Maker Lab teaches your child how to become a Master of science, in both the real world and the Star Wars galaxy. Using clear step-by-step instructions, the book guides scientists and makers through each experiment – from making Jabba’s gooey slime or a hovering landspeeder, to an Ewok catapult and a glowing Gungan Globe of Peace. Each experiment has fact-filled panels to explain the real-world science as well as the Star Wars science fiction from the movies.

With projects that are out of this world, this Star Wars book can keep children entertained for hours, making use of many household items such as cardboard tubes, baking soda, cornstarch, straws, balloons, and food coloring. There is also plenty to keep adventurous scientists engaged, with instructions on how to make your own bristlebot mouse droid, lightsaber duel, and Mustafar volcano. Star Wars Maker Lab supports STREAM topics and helps children to learn the basics of science by traveling through the Star Wars galaxy.

My Thoughts

This beautiful hard cover book is a child (and adults) dream come true. We are huge Star Wars fans although we do argue over if the newer or older movies are better (I still love the oldies!). This bold, vibrant book is full of ideas that help make the popular series come to life.

I have to be honest, some of the experiments would require you to have to go out and make a special purchase as you may not have them lying around the house. Which is perfectly okay – you just would have to plan out the projects to ensure you had every item (I don’t own a hamster ball but that project looked like so much fun).

We decided to tackle making Kyber crystals this weekend. I had most of the items needed except for clothespins but we improvised and it still worked. The kids loved the craft but were a bit impatient with wanting to eat the crystals as soon as possible. I loved how the book explained the process of creating the cyrstals and how it worked while incorporating a Star Wars theme. I was also a bit impatient and kept pulling the skewers out of the solution to check on the state of the crystal formation, this was fascinating to watch even as an adult!

This is an excellent craft book for any Star Wars fan. You will want to plan ahead to ensure you have everything you need to create the crafts but you will not be disappointed (our next item to tackle is creating our own light sabres – awesome right?). The instructions are easy to follow, a lot of illustrations to help you along the way and helpful hints (like watch the hot sugar boiling but this Mom still managed to splash herself!). Enjoy hours of Star Wars themed fun with this book – you will never have a dull PA or snow day again!

You can learn more about this book on the DK Canada website and purchase a copy on Amazon.

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

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Making Math Fun with The Incredible Math Games Book

DK Canada

Kid approved games in a book that makes math a win win for parents and kids a like!

About The Incredible Math Games

The interactive The Incredible Math Games Book will capture and hold your child’s attention, making practicing math and play one and the same. With games like Zip to Zero, Shape Stepper, Math Maze, Times Tables Tug-of-War and more, kids will learn key math concepts while having fun. Everybody wins!

You can roll the dice, move the counters, lift-the-flaps, and learn with this fun-filled math game book designed for children ages 6-9.

My Thoughts

Math can be a very touchy topic for parents and students. The way math is taught in schools is quite different now (and the way my eldest learned math in grade two is now different then how my youngest is learning it) and sometimes we all struggle a bit. If you have a child going through a rough patch with math skills, it can be quite difficult at home and at school – they will not want to learn, may yell and even refuse to do the extra work sheets that come home.

I know that my kids usually learn the best when they are engaged, having fun and being hands on (I am the same way too – I am definitely a hands on learner). I had fantastic teachers throughout my elementary and high school years and what I remember the most is that they made the traditionally tougher classes of math and sciences FUN. Whether that was through games, hands on labs – the key was to grab our attention, get us laughing and in turn learning.

The Incredible Math Game Book incorporates important math skills with fun games, thinking questions and hidden answers. We were able to play a version of snakes and ladders, mazes, counted backwards to zero and so much  more but it all centered around basic math skills of addition and subtraction. We could open up the flaps to reveal hidden questions or answers to some of the tougher questions. I loved that it got our minds working each time, even when we played the version of snakes and ladders – it was us prompting our son with questions like ‘you rolled a three – seventeen plus three equals?’ and him giving us his answer in order to move his marker. Even though we were having fun and playing games, he was still learning (and it even got my mind working – I am not the greatest at counting backwards!). The Incredible Math Game Book is an excellent teaching tool for you to have in your home that beats traditional work sheets hands down.

You can learn more about this book on the DK Canada website and purchase a copy on Amazon.

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

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Challenge Yourself to Learn a new Language with DK Canada’s Visual Dictionaries

DK Canada

Ready to start the new year off by learning a new language? Maybe you are planning a trip? DK Canada has you covered with all of your language needs with their line of bilingual visual dictionaries.

About German-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary

Newly revised and updated, the German-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary is a quick and intuitive way to learn and recall everyday words in German.

Introduces a range of useful current vocabulary in thematic order, this dictionary uses full-color photographs and artworks to display and label all the elements of everyday life-from the home and office to sport, music, nature, and the countries of the world-with panel features on key nouns, verbs, and useful phrases.

Key features include:

  • A complete range of illustrated objects and scenes from everyday life.
  • Handy size ideal for travel.
  • Detailed index for instant reference.
  • Free companion audio app.

My Thoughts

You  may have made the decision to learn a new language for a variety of reasons. You may have planned the trip of a lifetime, you may want to challenge yourself or you may be trying to learn more about your own heritage. No matter what the reason, you have made an empowering, exciting decision in your life that should be celebrated.

While exciting, it can be difficult to learn a new language. I remember as a child going to Italian classes and bringing my dictionary with me. The dictionary was old, contained no pictures, contained definitions and verbs that were far over my head. I constantly struggled to learn the language and the only thing I can now do at my age is write out – I am, he is, she is, they are.

The brilliantly designed visual bilingual dictionaries take learning to a new level. The books can fit into the palm of your hand and would easily fit in a large pocket or your purse/backpack. Each page is full of pictures to go along with each word (which I feel would come in handy if you are travelling and mispronouncing a word!).

Unlike your traditional dictionary which is alphabetical, the dictionary is broken down into main categories: people, home, services, shopping, food, work, transportation and so on. Each category is then further broken down into several pages with the most common words in that category. The book also comes with an index that can help you easily find the word and page you are looking for.

I really liked the size and easy to follow style of this book. It encourages the learning process and gives you the support you need to not give up. The introduction contains helpful tools and learning activities that will help guide you through the learning process. The free audio app is a must, as it is one thing to read the words but listening to the tone and pronunciation in the native tongue will further your language skills.

You can learn more about this series on the DK Canada Website and purchase a copy on Amazon.

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

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Good, Better, Best Wines Book Review

DK Canada

Love wine? Then get ready for the Good, Better, Best Wines book!

Good, Better, Best Wines Book Review

About Good, Better, Best Wines

While wine snobs are swirling and sniffing expensive wines that are tediously hard to find, the rest of us are just drinking wine. Popular wine. Big-brand wine. Big brands can spell terrific value, but you need to know which bottles to buy. That’s where Good Better Best Wines, 2e comes in. It’s small enough to pop in your pocket and take with you to the store. And it’s user-friendly enough to flip through on the fly.

This book ranks the best-selling wines in North America by grape variety and price point up to $15 (USD). And every bottle listed comes with a color photograph for quick and easy identification, so you can buy and run before getting stuck in a conversation with someone eager to share their vast wine knowledge with you! Of course, you’ll also get other important details, such as what ingredients created each wine, flavor and smell profiles, and alcohol content by volume–but in Carolyn’s relaxed, friendly tone.

My Thoughts

It wasn’t until I reached my late twenties that I began to appreciate a good glass of wine. I think my problem in the beginning was that I had no idea about the differences between the different types of wine and would just randomly choose a bottle based on price. This usually meant I grabbed a wine that tasted sour and was not easy to finish. Over the last years, I have learned to appreciate and develop a preference for specific brands and types of wine. I am in no way an expert but I do know what I like and what I don’t like (I like a sweet, smooth taste with not too strong of an alcohol taste).

This well written and witty guide is the perfect guide book for those who love their wine but by no  means want to be an expert – they want to find a great bottle of wine at the right price point.

Carolyn breaks down everything you ever wanted to know about wine – from just the basics about prices, the battle of the cap to how to get the  most out of a bottle (which fortunately we have never had to worry about as we always finish a bottle once it is opened!). She then dives right into the world of white, reds, rose and sparkling as well as bargain, dessert and party wines. The book is roughly 238 pages long and each two page section carries information on three types of wines. My mind was officially blown at the sheer volume of wine brands she shared! Some of them were familiar but some were new to me. She gives a great background on what each wine tastes and I love how visual her description is (you can almost taste it) as well as sharing pretty neat did you know facts and food pairing tips (although I could have used without the amount of calories in wine – just joking!).

Carolyn has done an incredible job with this guide – she gives you advice that you didn’t even know you needed to know, like how full to make the glass to ensure you can fully appreciate the taste and aroma of the wine and the perfect temperature to serve each wine at. She gives you such a great variety and different price points, I found a few wines in there that I have been hesitant to try but actually did after reading her work, I was not disappointed at all!

You can learn more about this book on DK Canada’s website and purchase a copy of this book here.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Carolyn Evans Hammond is a two-time bestselling wine book author, the wine columnist for the Toronto Star (syndicated), and a seasoned wine judge.

Over the past 15 years, she has appeared on CNN International, BON TV (China), GoingGlobalTV.com, Canada AM, and CITY-TV; she has been a guest on radio stations all over the United States; and she has written for top publications, including Decanter, Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirit International, The Times(London), Maclean’s, Quench, Taste magazine, and others.

Constantly learning, Carolyn spends much of her time tasting wine, judging wine, and meeting with winemakers to keep abreast of the industry. She’s a longstanding member of the Circle of Wine Writers, holds a diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in the UK, and earned a BA from York University, where she studied English and philosophy. She has lived in many cities in North America and Europe and now resides in Toronto, where she was born.

Her message is simple: Living well doesn’t have to be pricey or pretentious. It just takes a little know-how—and maybe a corkscrew.

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

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The Children’s Cookbook Review

DK Canada

The  Children’s Cookbook is full of delicious dishes kids will want to make over and over again.

The Children's Cookbook Review

About Children’s Cookbook

The Children’s Cookbook brings to life simple recipes from breakfast to light meals to main dishes to even baking for your child and yourself to prepare together. With beautiful full-color photography, simple instructions, and a focus on safety, each one makes an ideal cook-together project that will have children excited to try the new flavors in the dishes they helped make. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and feature a picture for every step, so children can see clearly just what to do as they build basic cooking skills, safe kitchen practices, and adventurous palates.

Our Thoughts

Empowering your child with the knowledge, skills and confidence to cook in the kitchen is so important. I still remember my first week on my own in my first apartment and my spouse asking me to make a boiled egg. I can now laugh about it but at the time my response was how the heck do I make a boiled egg??! My parents had always done this for us as kids and in our teen years so I never had to do this on my own. I had no idea where to start and this is not an over exaggeration, I didn’t know what temperature to put the stove at, how long to cook them and how to cook them properly so I don’t make everyone sick. I wont even mention when I had to cut an onion for the first time – I wasn’t even quite sure where to start, which side to cut first and how big/small it should be, my spouse had a fantastic time laughing at me over this one.

As parents, it is so important for us to teach our children these life skills so one they wont repeat our mistakes but most importantly so that they are ready to tackle the world once they leave our nest (because really we don’t want them living on five minute rice and breakfast sausages every day for months on end – not speaking from too much personal experience here!).

This book is perfect for young children and even for teens who are just starting out in the kitchen.

It is bright, bold and to the point – there is no question about what each step is asking you to do, there is the proper safety notes in place and they use ingredients you will have on hand. I joke about the boiled egg but in all honesty, children need to be shown these simple meal items. I loved that they included simple things like boiled and scrambled eggs. They also include items like making your own pizza from scratch, naan bread, chicken curry and a variety of delicious recipes from various cultural backgrounds. There is something for everyone in this book. The step by step photos are a huge bonus, I am a visual learner so this helped me greatly. You can compare what you are doing to the pictures and make corrections. There is something for all skill levels, make sure you start off easier but then as your child’s confidence grows – choose something harder. The possibilities are endless and the big bonus? Your child spending quality time with you in the kitchen. A complete win win for this Mom.

The Children's Cookbook Review

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

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

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