Category: childrens books

Illumisaurus Book Review

Journey back in time to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods with Illumisaurus, come face-to-face with prehistory’s most spectacular dinosaurs, plants and animals. Bring this lost world to life with your magic three-color viewing lens.

About Illumisaurus

Journey back in time to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods with Illumisaurus, come face-to-face with the most spectacular dinosaurs, plants and animals. Bring this lost world to kaleidoscopic life with your magic three-color viewing lens.

With your lens in hand, discover amazing places and the creatures that roamed them.

  • Your green lens reveals a location, spanning 9 land masses across millions of years. Learn how these places transformed to become the habitats on Earth.
  • Your red lens brings to life the dinosaurs. Meet a T. Rex, run with packs of velociraptors and marvel at the gigantic brachiosaurus as you discover how these animals came to rule the Earth.
  • Your blue lens uncovers the wildlife that lived alongside and after the dinosaurs, including dragonflies, woolly mammoths and fungi taller than trees.
  • Fact pages fill in the details and guide you through a world bursting with life and color.

The latest in the bestselling Illumi series, Illumisaurus is a hidden-world adventure with a scientific angle, and the perfect gift for dinosaur enthusiasts. Innovative illustrations from award-winning design duo Carnovsky make this a book like no other, with hundreds of places, plants and creatures to discover on three layers of detailed artwork.
 
How many dinosaurs will you find on your prehistoric journey?

Our Thoughts

Wow – this was the first thought that went through my head when we opened this book (my son – this is so cool!). The book is dedicated to dinosaurs but told in such an unique manner – using three lens that explore and reveal dinosaurs, the place and the plant life all on the same page.

While the book is visually stunning, it is also full of amazing information about dinosaurs around the world during this time period. We explore Western Europe, Central Asia and Russia, East and Southeast Asia, Middle East and India, Africa, North America, Australia, Antarctica and South America. For each place, we learn about the history (climate, time period, fossils and so much more) while using the green lens to visually bring the place to life. We use the red lens to bring to life the dinosaurs of this region and the blue lens on that page to bring to life the plant life. We turn the page to learn about each of the species, meaning behind their name and how many million years ago it lived. They also include a dinosaur discovery guide (our kids found it amazing that there was a dinosaur discovery close to where we visited family in Zimbabwe!).

Illumisaurus is a stunning, well written book for children (and their parents) to explore and learn about these incredible creatures that roamed our Earth so many years ago. There is so much to learn and explore in this book, your child will spend hours on each page with each lens discovering new dinosaurs and plant life.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Milan-based design duo Carnovsky was started by Silvia Quintanilla and Francesco Rugi in 2007. They have gained wide recognition for their RGB project, first displayed in 2010. Their work has been published in magazines around the world, such as VogueWiredFrameWallpaperElle Decor, and Whitewall. Their wallpaper ‘Jungla’ won the 2012 Wallpaper Magazine Design Award for Best Wallpaper.

Lucy Brownridge is an author and editor of children’s books based in London. She writes books for children about history of art, history, animals, and science. She has an MA in history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a BA in history of art from the University of Bristol. 

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

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Copycat Science Book Review

Step in the shoes of the world’s greatest scientists in Copycat Science.

About Copycat Science

This unique book of simple and safe STEM-related experiments and activities is presented in fun comic strip style. Each experiment or activity follows a cartoon life history of a figure from science, math’s or engineering so that the reader can relate their experiment to science done by actual people.

This graphic, comic style book puts an emphasis on fun, and encourages readers to try it out at home, while the diverse range of scientists included will inspire all readers to become hands on.

Our Thoughts

I love the sciences and feel strongly that it is so important for children to be exposed to the topics at a young age. Science should be fun (because it is!) and age appropriate, find what engages your child and go with it.

Copycat Science is a fun, engaging book for youth that connects with them in a way they can appreciate – a comic/cartoon style. It is written in a fun and easy style that makes it easy for young readers to follow along with (and parents too!) but still provides key concepts and figures. Each two page spread features a scientist on the first page and an experiment on the second page. Visually the illustrations are excellent and typical of a comic strip.

Some of the scientists you may know, but others will be new to you – I never knew about Laura Bassi ‘the First Lady of Physics’ or Ibn Al-Haytham, the ‘Arabian Visionary’ (so not only were we learning about science but also about history). The experiments were easy to re-create and for the most part, you can complete them with items found around your home. I loved this aspect, because there is nothing worse than coming home with a book of experiments to have to go back out to get supplies.

Copycat Science is a fun, engaging new way to get your child interested in the sciences and getting hands on at home.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Mike Barfield is a writer, poet, performer, songwriter, ukulele player, and cartoonist. He has written extensively for TV and radio – with credits as diverse as Spitting Image, The Dennis the Menace and Gnasher Show and five years on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. His cartoon feature Apparently has appeared in the pages of Private Eye for over 20 years, and his drawings have been on display in the Cartoon Museum, the V & A, the Museum of London, and Nigella Lawson’s downstairs loo.

His Destroy This Book series (published by Buster Books) has been sold around the world, starting with the Destroy This Book In The Name of Science! The Element in the Room (Lawrence King, 2018) which was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019.

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

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A Natural History of Fairies

This enchanting natural history of fairies, compiled in the 1920s by the botanist Professor Elsie Arbour for her niece, is now unveiled for readers of today in A Natural History of Fairies.

About A Natural History of Fairies

Featuring a gold foil–embossed cloth cover, a ribbon marker, and sprayed gold edges, this book is full of colorful sketches and precise notes detailing the secret life of fairies and their important role in the natural world.

Inside, you will discover the wide and wonderful array of different species of fairies around the globe and explore where and how they live. Delight in this world as you learn all about:

  • The anatomy of a fairy (Land-based fairies have individual, separated toes, just as humans do. However, many species of water fairies have webbed feet.)
  • The life cycle of a fairy (When walking in the heather, be careful of the tiny flutterpillar of the Wicklow Fairy, decked out in greens and purples.)
  • Clever fairy camouflage (Reed fairies living in wetlands usually wear striped clothes to hide among the tall reeds.)
  • Fairies around the world (Meet the Lily Hopper of sub-Saharan Africa, the Queen Fairy of New Guinea, the Penguin Fairy of the Antarctic, and many more.)
  • Fairy habitats (Fairies make their homes in all types of places: woodlands, jungles, deserts, the Poles, and even human homes.)

Concluding with a reminder that we must protect the endangered habitats of fairies, and all other creatures too, this is a book to be treasured for a lifetime.

My Thoughts

I love learning about folklore and the beliefs of others when it comes to mythical creatures, like fairies. How can you not want to believe that these beautiful creatures are real? I love the authors approach to fairies – so many times in history, science has thought something has not been real but later proven to be real (platypus and the giant squid as mentioned in this book!).

First, I have to say how stunning this book is – the cover of the book is just incredible and hard to put in to words. It is gold foil-embossed and you will find yourself running your hand over each line. The beautiful fairy in the middle of the cover, is just a preview of what is to come. The illustrations are stunning and bring the fairies to life page after page in their gentle, earthy tones.

I loved learning all fairies – from their anatomy, to their life cycle, fairies of the world, their connection with animals and plants, language and so much more. It is approached in such a wonderful way that reminds us that sometimes we have to believe (and how can you not believe in such wonderful, magical creatures).

A Natural History of Fairies is a stunning, incredible gift for young readers – they will fall in love with the knowledge sharing and the stunning illustrations. It is a special gift that will be treasured for years to come.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Emily Hawkins is a writer and editor of children’s books for all ages. She wrote the New York Times bestseller Oceanology, as well as several other titles in the Ology series, which has sold over 16 million copies worldwide. She holds a first-class English degree from Nottingham University, and now lives in Winchester with her young family.

Jessica Roux is a Nashville-based illustrator and plant and animal enthusiast. She loves exploring in her own backyard and being surrounded by an abundance of nature. Using subdued colors and rhythmic shapes, she renders flora, fauna, food, and many other things with intricate detail reminiscent of old world beauty. Her first book with Frances Lincoln is A Natural History of Fairies (September 2020).

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

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50 Maps of the World Book Review

Travel the world with fifty country maps that showcase the history, culture and personalities.

About 50 Maps of the World

Spanning from Spain to Singapore, Colombia to Canada, Turkey to Tanzania, discover all you need to know about some of the most amazing places in the world.

Geography, history and culture can be found in the treasure trove of travel knowledge. Each two page spread is dedicated to a different country, providing quick facts and the chance to delve deeper into what makes every nation unique. Natural wonders, bustling metropolises, storied pasts and cultural icons are presented in detail.

Our Thoughts

Do you have a budding traveler in your home? Or maybe a child who loves learning about new places, their history and cool facts? This is the book for them.

50 Maps of the World is an incredible, information packed journey around the world. When I first read maps of the world, I assumed a literal map but each two page spread dedicated to the country, features an outline of the country shape along with a smaller map showing where the country is located on a world map. The book instead focuses on special features, sites, people, animals and so much more. They also include key facts about the country and what makes the country unique, along with a timeline that contains important moments to remember specific to that country.

50 Maps of the World is a stunning book dedicated to showcasing some of the most beautiful countries in the world and their history and culture. It features many places, moments and people that you would never have known about (I never knew that Sabiha Gokcen, from Turkey, was the first woman in the world to fly as a fighter pilot at the age of 23!). We read the book a few pages at a time, sometimes jumping to countries that we wish we could be on a flight to right now. The pages are slightly busy but still easy to follow along with your child. I loved how we both learned so much from this book and were able to create our own bucket list. 50 Maps of the World will make a great gift for the little traveler or the child in your house who loves to learn and explore the world around them.

You can purchase a copy of this book 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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Aretha Franklin Book Review

In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Aretha Franklin, “The Queen of Soul.”

About Aretha Franklin

The fourth of five children, Aretha was born in Tennessee and took the stage at an early age in her father’s church choir. She went on to become the best-selling rhythm and blues singer of all time, and the first woman to be installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the broadcaster’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Our Thoughts

” Soul to me is a feeling, a lot of depth… being able to bring to the surface that which is happening inside” – Little People, Big Dreams Aretha Franklin

I love to chose books for my kids that inspire, that educate and encourage them to dream. This series of books does this and so much more. This book features the incredible Aretha Franklin. Aretha came from a musical family and had an incredible voice that touched your heart. She started singing at home, then moved to a gospel choir before securing her first record deal.

We know her music and her powerful voice (and her range of musical genres), but she also used her position to fight against racism and inequality. She stood by Martin Luther King Jr.’s side and sang in his honour “Precious Lord” when he died. She also sang at the inauguration of Barack Obama. She was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Incredible, right?

Aretha Franklin is an inspiring book for young children, full of facts and brilliant, engaging imagery to help tell her powerful story. This book should be part of your home (and school) library. A definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, born in Barcelona, Spain, is a writer and creative director in constant search of new concepts for children’s books and the author of the multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series of picture books that explore the lives of outstanding people. Working for more than fifteen years for clients in top advertising agencies, her books combine creativity with learning, aiming to establish a new and fresh relationship between children and pop culture. ​

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

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