Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Think & Play the Social Scouts™ Way: Firefighter Leo to the Rescue! by Heather Marenda-Miller & Amy Wilhelm Review

Unplug & Have Fun!
While technology has no doubt enhanced the speed and breadth of our communication, there is growing concern that reliance on screen time can often have a negative effect on young children. In fact, recent studies have shown with the increase in screen time, there is a decrease in children’s reading for fun, outside time and imaginary play, all of which are crucial for speech and language development.
Every single day in their pediatric practice in Los Angeles, speech-language pathologists Heather Marenda-Miller and Amy Wilhelm see first-hand how increased screen time is impacting speech and social development as well as the ability to do what most of us think as automatic in children – the ability to play.
In their therapeutic groups, aptly named Social Scouts™, Heather and Amy actually teach children how to play, helping them use their words to communicate ideas with others, thereby enhancing social skills while inspiring creativity and imagination.
In the first of a ten-book series created to bring their techniques to a wider audience, Heather and Amy, along with illustrator Alen Haljevac, have just published Think & Play the Social Scouts™ Way: Firefighter Leo to the Rescue! Intended to be read interactively with children from ages 3 to 7, this book follows Leo as he discovers how to think and play like a firefighter! Through thematic vocabulary and vibrant illustrations, kids will learn what firefighters do, where they work, what they wear, what special gear they need and all the ways they help the community. With opportunities for child participation throughout, as well as cut-out sequence pictures included for practice after reading the story, children can actively follow along and have their very own firefighting adventure, just like Leo! The authors hope this book will be fun for young children -- as well as parents and grandparents, teachers and nannies, brothers and sisters -- encouraging everyone to unplug, read, pretend and play!
About the Authors:
Heather Marenda-Miller, MS, CCC-SLP and Amy Wilhelm, MS, CCC-SLP are licensed and certified pediatric speech-language pathologists with a successful private practice in Los Angeles. Heather and Amy are co-founders of the Social Scouts™ therapeutic program, which they developed in 2010 to help children struggling with making and sustaining friendships. They share a passion for working with children and providing a fun, friendly and nurturing environment for them to think, learn, play and grow.
After searching high and low to no avail for children’s books that teach imagination and pretend play skills, they decided to create their own series of interactive books to do just that. This new title, Think & Play the Social Scouts™ Way: Firefighter Leo to the Rescue! is the first in that series.
About the Illustrator:
Alen Haljevac came to Los Angeles in 1994 with a passion for illustration, design and fashion. He earned his degree in Advanced Fashion Design from FIDM in Los Angeles. He gained his experience working for various entertainment and design companies and is currently working in the toy industry. Says Alen, “I feel extremely excited to be part of the Social Scouts™ book project, working with an amazing creative duo such as Heather Marenda-Miller and Amy Wilhelm.”
My Review:
This is a great book that has great photos that show every aspect of being a firefighter. There were interactive questions that the readers have to answer, and even spots to fill in their own word bubbles and illustrations. At the end of the book Leo has his own pretend Firefighter game with his toys. I really liked the realism and the way that the book is interacting with the reader. There was also a part at the end with sequence cards to use during pretend play. Including gathering items and cleaning up. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy. All opinions are my own. 

Heirs of the Round Table: Reclaiming Camelot by Al Ford Review and Giveaway


Imagine discovering that your ancestors were part of King Arthur’s court and that you are expected to find a way back in time to Camelot, defeat the evil queen, Morgana Pendragon, and return the rightful heir to the throne, all while trying to pass the 11th grade. That is exactly what happens to 17-year-old Michael Merlin and his friends.

My Review:

I love reading about history. Can you imagine being related to King Arthur? Okay, that is awesome in itself, nevermind being able to find Camelot. This is a great book for young adults that know the legends, and also know the pressure of high school. Everything I loved about The Round Table was here, added with the author's new tale, weaved togother to make a great fantasy for today's readers. I am giving this book a 5/5. All opinions are my own.

I also have an extra copy to give away to a lucky reader. Please enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he’s a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband’s life a misery, and she’ll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire...not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn’t bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She’s the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil’s daughter knows…

My Review:
This is a great book that reminds us not to believe what you hear about others, but to rather come to your own conclusions. Phoebe took her husband's word about West, and never thought that she would meet him. I enjoyed the scene when they did finally meet, and how Phoebe's son reacted. West was hardened by his past, and he did not think anyone would make his heart soften, until he met Phoebe. What ensued was a lot of denial. There is a lot more to this book besides the romance. Phoebe is a strong woman who makes "manly" decisions, especially in business.  Not to mention who her father is and how she got married in the first place. She is strong willed and gets the job done! Will they both be able to let go of the past and live in the present? I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy. All opinions are my own.

50 Unofficial Minecraft Books in 1 by Billy Miner Review

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This is an amazing collection that really takes you into the world of minecraft. I have never played, but after reading this, I definitely have a better understanding and feel as though I am an expert. Be ready to explore characters, diaries and secrets, all while reading a great story. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Here on the Ground and The Land of Mogan by Marianne Jones Reviews

Here on the Ground

From Northwestern Ontario a collection of poems by an award-winning poet that explores themes of loss, faith, folk tales and longing for transcendence from the perspective of one whose feet are firmly rooted here on the ground

My Review:
This is a great collection for a fall night. From Canadian poems to horror like poems, this book has a poem for everyone. I especially enjoyed the poem "Rapunzel". No, I did not notice that hse has freckles! I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy, all opinions are my own. 

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The Land of Mogan is a fantasy adventure for young readers ages 9-14. It follows the journey of a girl named Shalikka who must travel into the land of Mogan to rescue her kidnapped sister. Armed only with a mysterious book left her by her father, Shalikka is befriended along the way by a talking mouse named Thaddeus. Together, along with a small band of rebels, they join forces to overthrow an evil regime. According to one reviewer, " in this story Marianne Jones presents the dilemma of every person--uncompromising choice between good and evil." Another reviewer states, "Jones' sense of wonder and belief in her characters give The Land of Mogan a strength that appeals to children (and adults who read to children) with its convictions." Beautifully illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by Laura Karelse, the story is lively and fast-paced. It makes a satisfying read for anyone who loves to see good triumph over evil.

My Review:
A missing sister, a determined youth, and good versus evil made this a very enjoyable read. I would also have to search. I liked that the author also made it fun for children with Thaddeus. There were servants and spies, and a king that wanted to keep things the way he wanted them. Or so it seemed. I liked the ending, and would love to see more adventures for Shalikka. I am giving this book a 5/5, I was given a copy, all opinions are my own.