There are only a few days left (less than 8) until school finally starts for us this year and then I’ll be around FULL time. I’m super excited to see what we can come up with in the AtPlay universe.
Until then I have a few book reviews I want to share with everyone to help pass the time. It’s also a feature I’m hoping to have on a weekly basis. Sometimes we’ll discuss children’s books at others books for us (recipes, cook book, self-help) whatever comes up at the time. If you have any suggestions feel free to let me know them through email or the contact form.
Today I want to show everyone Goodnight Ark by Laura Sassi & illustrated by Jane Chapman. I LOVE this book, we received our copy from booklookbloggers.com late last month and have read it probably fifty times since then. It is quickly becoming a household favorite.
Goodnight Ark tells the story of Noah and one restless night on the ark. This is not a story you would use as a Bible lesson as it’s more fun than factual, but I think it’s a great tool to use to introduce children to the story. When kids are young (as ours are) we like to keep things light and fun and that is exactly what this story is.
The pictures are full page and double spread. Translation= all the white space is filled with pretty stuff to look at.
Also notice how the font changes within the text to play along with the words. This is great because it helps parents remember to change their voice while reading to reflect the story changes. It also shows older kids who might be learning to read how your ‘voice’ should change as you read varying sentences. There is nothing more boring for kids than monotone bedtime reading. Where’s the fun in that.
I also love the illustrator, Jane Chapman and will be looking for more of her stuff in the future. The way she depicts animals (at least in Goodnight Ark) is realistic yet still cartoonized, which I really like. Plus they are just adorable. Did you see the skunk at the beginning on this post? And what about the little mice in the paragraph above? Oh, and there are tigers too!
Owen’s in a big turtle phase right now so I think we’ll be looking into getting a copy of One Tiny Turtle.
*I received a copy of Goodnight Ark from Booklookbloggers.com. The opinions of the book are completely my own.
I had the chance to review Disney Go Green this week. I love the idea of making our family and home as green as possible. We all have to do our part, but let’s be honest I want to do my part without having to go to the extremes likes cloth toilet paper. Hey, we all have our limits.
Go Green is a new brand of Disney books, encouraging families to lead a sustainable lifestyle. It is however not only a line of books but an opportunity for families to spend time together. The book This first Go Green book is for everyone whether they are new to the concept of sustainability or someone who’s lifestyle is green. The books three main focal points are; explaining sustainability in a simple and fun way, putting the concept into perspective for children and families and to show easy and fun steps to take in the green direction. All through the book are tips and fun facts connected to sustainability and the reader will find that a few easy steps will take the family in a new direction. Chapter headings These are a few of the chapter headings, with a reservation that the wording of them might change slightly: Go Green with Mickey What is the circle of life? Fun and active lifestyle! Exploring the world! Why recycle? Growing our own greens
I was expecting Disney Go Green to be more of a listing of tips on how to save money and go green like so many books like this are. Imagine my surprise when the book is written more like a book than just a categorized list.
The book goes through various ways to take your family green, but also why these things are a good idea. I really liked this aspect because for younger readers it will help them see the impact their choices have on others.
There are some really great ideas in Disney Go Green, but it’s not a picture book or other “fun” reading you could take to bed time with you, which is more what I was expecting with Disney in the title. With that said I think the reading may be a little dry for some of those same younger readers and yet a bit condescending for adults.
I’m not quite sure which age range it would be the perfect read for, but possibly more for a student writing a report for class or trying to green their family of their own volition.
Check out Disney Go Green on amazon and see if it might be something that would benefit your family in your quest to be more environmental friendly.
My copy was provided by netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
I finally remembered what I wanted to share last week that I completely forgot about.
I’ve had quite a few people ask me about what the bookcases we built last year look like full of stuff. Remember this project?
Well over the last year I’ve been slowly filling it. You won’t find any really cutely decorated shelves like some people do. 1. I’m not that great at “decorating” in that sense 2. We have a LOT of books 3. Because of 2, these shelves needed to be very functional for us.
Here is what the shelves look like right now
Owen took up quite a bit of the space for his books (Has the bottom six on all sides) therefore we couldn’t fit many of our own books. We still have 8 shelves full of books in our basement. I think this means I need more shelves right? Since this was so easy I’ve been contemplating a built in for our bedroom, but I’m worried what that will do to our resale value in a few years. It will make it so there is only really one place you can stick the bed.
Okay, now it’s your turn to link up. What have you been working on this week? It can be anything.
There are some very simple rules for linking up
Please make sure and link back to us. You can either do a text link or copy and paste the html for either of our Wednesday images from the following page HERE.
When asked for your name feel free to include the name of your blog and/or the name of the project you’re working on.
Remember to link to your actual project with a direct link and not your homepage. (or this week a post about our current giveaway)
Forget those 700-calorie “healthy” smoothies you’ve been drinking. Daniella Chace, nutritionist and bestselling author of Smoothies for Life!,has whipped up 365 recipes that will kick-start your weight loss with daily doses of delicious, medicinally potent superfood smoothies.
Organized by season and month, each of these 365 smoothie recipes is a satisfying blend of whole foods that are rich in nutrients that help you shed body fat. Powerhouse ingredients—such as pomegranate juice, chia seeds, green tea and cocoa powder—will boost your metabolism, increase fat-fighting enzymes and even curb your appetite. And with names like Tulsi Avocado Cream, Green Lushy, Svelte Synergy and The Violet TuTu, you’ll be sipping your way to increased muscle and reduced fat while your taste buds—and waistline—rejoice.
365 Skinny Smoothies opens with the a secrets for losing weight chapter. It talks about the ingredients you’ll find in the book and why you should use them in your smoothies. It’s essentially a weigh in on smoothie ingredients chapter which I found to be really informative.
Next we have a what you need to keep in your kitchen chapter. The items aren’t all required but they do go beyond just a simple blender. While having all those gadgets would be nice, really you could stick with the blender and be ok.
After these informational chapters we get right to the good stuff with the smoothie recipes. Each ‘chapter’ is written as a month with a smoothie recipe a day. They are then also broken into sup groups with the largest ingredient (orange, plums, etc).
Most of the recipes list the total amount of calories, fat, carbs, fiber, and protein. I did see a few that were missing this information but for most of them it is there. I like this, because I hate having to try and add up my ingredients, google how many calories are in each, and then add them together to get total calories for my fitbit. This was such a nice system to have.
For the purposes of the book, the author considered smoothies with less than 250 calories to be a snack and those with more than 250 to be a meal replacement. When going through the book I generally stuck to those recipes that were under 250.
I looked at recipes with fewer calories, and easy recipes with limited ingredients. Keeping it simple is the only way something like this would get done at our house. I don’t to have to buy out a health food store to make a few smoothies. I wanted simple ingredients that I could find at my local grocery store. And even with these restrictive criteria I was able to find quite a few smoothies that would work for us.
In total, after lots of back and forth because there were so many good ones, I was able to find fifteen recipes that were easy, had a small amount of similar ingredients and were under 250 calories. I think this is a great starting off point for us.
I hope to start making some next week and I’ll post the results we get here. Although, in order for you to get the recipes you will have to buy the book. For less than $10 this book is jam packed with information
If you’re a smoothie lover or just looking for something healthy you can quickly make up 365 Skinny Smoothies is the book for you.
I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review