Saturday, June 28, 2014

Love More Feed Less, by Randi L. Levin

Title: Love More Feed Less: A Tasty Path Toward Avoiding Childhood Obesity

Publisher: The Muffin Lady Inc

 Date: November 5, 2010

 Pages: 220

 Language: English

About the author: Randi Levin was raised in Philadelphia and introduced to cooking at a young age in her grandmothers' kitchens. While in high school she began acquiring the skills necessary for helping others. Equipped with the dedication and passion for helping others, she went on to become highly educated and trained as a teacher and mentor in the health profession.

In the early 1990's, while residing in the Colorado mountains, a medical condition had her change her path in life. No longer able to help children and families the way she was use to doing, she turned to writing cookbooks.

Today she is an internationally known awarded culinary author, who believes that knowledge and food should be shared. Because her passion for helping remains strong, she often reflects on the lessons students and clients taught her to help guide her eternal path to help them and their parents make better health choices.

My take: I liked this book in the sense that I love collecting cookbooks. But it is not just a cookbook, it is filled with information the author feels is pertinent in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

At the beginning of the book, the author has given us a little background information on the causes of, statistics and how to look for obesity in your children. I like how she doesn't just say 'this is how I feel and what I think you should do', but actually backs her opinions up with actual facts.

There are about 14 different sections in this book. One of the sections that I really enjoyed was the one on spices. Not only did she take the time to list every spice out there, but she also lets us know which food each spice would best compliment. Another section that I thought was interesting is the one where she talks about teaching your family how to eat better by showing them and not just telling them. Start by eating the right foods and slowly incorporating it into their diets. If they see you enjoying it, your children are more than likely to follow in your footsteps. And finally, how to proportion your food so that you don't over eat.

This book is filled with a lot of recipes. From comfort foods, salads, breakfast dishes, and desserts to healthy child snacks. I feel like most of her recipes are healthy based, but if you are speaking about staying at a healthy weight, I think that you should eliminate bacon and butter from your diet. One thing I can say is she does give you a section on substitutes, which is very helpful. Before each recipe she gives you some information, tips and hints on each one. The only thing that I would have loved to see would have been some pictures of the recipes. I am one who likes to see what their creation is suppose to look like.

I feel as though this is a really good cookbook filled with useful information. Even though I am a vegetarian and try to eat as healthy as possible, it still has a lot of great recipes I can use.

I was given this book for my honesty review.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Body & Soul, by Bethany Hamilton

Title: Body & Soul

Author: Bethany Hamilton w/ Dustin Dillberg

Age: 11 -14 years old

Publisher: Zondervan

Date: May 6, 2014

About the author: Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination and faith. Her unbelievably positive attitude touched the world after she lost her left arm to a tiger shark while surfing off Kauai's North Shore in 2003. Bethany bounced back, telling her story in the autobiography-turned-movie Soul Surfer.

Now a professional surfer, motivated speaker, and healthy lifestyle advocate, Bethany inspires people globally while working on many charitable efforts, including Friends of Bethany, which supports shark attack survivors and traumatic amputees worldwide.

About the book: As a professional surfer, Bethany Hamilton knows it's key to keep her body strong. But as a Christian, she knows taking care of her spiritual health is just as important. 

While sharing her amazing expertise as a world-class athlete, Bethany helps you become your healthiest, most confident any joyful self. Her easy plan is filled with fun workouts created by her personal trainer, Dustin Dillberg, and includes tons of tasty, good-for-you recipes. Bethany also shares tips for staying stress free and soulful, even on the toughest of days.

My take: Body & Soul is a perfect title for this book. Bethany Hamilton does a great job showing younger girls how to take care of yourself from the inside out. With her little inserted quips and "Bethany's Soul Secrets" gives you uplifting messages to live by. She also has bible texts splattered throughout the book. She does a great job showing people how it is important to feel good on the inside just as well as it does on the outside. There are interactive sections so that you can really get involved and truly understand. She lets them know that obstacles is just a word and anything that you want to accomplish can be done if you put your mind to it. One thing I do want to mention, as I feel it is important for younger people to start thinking about being healthy, I feel as though 11 is too young to worry about it on their own. I think 14 for this book is a good age to start. If you do have a child on the younger side, sit down with them and help them understand the book better.

Another thing she shows us is how exercising is very important when trying to stay or become healthy. Not only does she describe the importance of it, she has her own trainer shows us different workouts to do. He has created four different workouts to choose from or even possibly doing them all. There is one for stability, agility, strength, and endurance. I also like the fact that Bethany lets you know that being skinning is not as important as being "physically" healthy. 

Lastly, she shows us how to eat better. She lets you know what foods are good to eat and what to avoid on packages when you go to buy your food at the store. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bethany also shows you how to make different smoothies and shakes that you can also enjoy. Toward the back of the book there is a whole week planned out for you to following in helping you eat healthy.

From healthy drinks and snacks, portions sizes, preplanned meals, and exercise routines, this book has it all. I think it is a great book for younger girls. They will be able to read how to take care of themselves in a well rounded way. 

This book was given to me for my honest review.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Last Bride, by Beverly Lewis

Series: Home To Hickory Hollow

Pages: 337 pages

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Date: April 1, 2014

Language: English

About the book: Of her Old Order parents' five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie's father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they'll convince the Millers to give their love a chance. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

About the author: Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than seventeen million books in print. Her stories have been published in eleven languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today.

My take: Once again, Beverly Lewis has written another awesome Amish story. I have to say she is one of my favorite Amish writers. And after reading this book, you will understand why I claim her to be my favorite.

The story alone is very heartfelt. To be young and in love is a great experience, but when something goes wrong and you have to face everything "alone", it can be devastating. That is what happens to Tessie in this story. She is in love with Marcus and they work on spending the rest of their lives together. Then something awful happens to Marcus and she is left by herself. She later finds out she is pregnant and has to decide if she should tell the church the whole story or let them believe what they want and suffer knowing the truth.

While she is going through all of this, Levi, the boy that has liked her in the past is working his way back into her life or at least trying to. What she needs to figure out is if she can let go of her past and move forward with him.

The Last Bride, part of the Home To Hickory Hollow series, was a really great read. I really enjoyed it from beginning to end. Beverly Lewis' style of writing kept me fully engaged. It made me feel as though I was right there with Tessie and the rest experiencing everything they did. I could actually see their faces, clothes, places they lived and even the changing of the weather. You will totally immerse yourself in it and not want to put the book down until you are done. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book where they can sit on the couch, curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea and read.

This book was given to me by Bethany House for my honest review.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

If You Were Me And Lived In...Portugal, by Carole P. Roman

Series: If You Were Me and Lived In...

Pages: 28 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Date: May 28, 2014

Language: English

About the book: Written specifically for Preschoolers and early readers, If You Were Me and Lived In...Portugal presents valuable information about Portugal in a simple yet thoughtful way that doesn't talk down to little ones or go over their heads. Full of basic facts about topics that matter most to kids, it opened doors for children to learn about this unique country and get a better idea of what life is like there... without ever leaving the house or turning on an electric device.

About the author: Carole P. Roman is a former social studies teacher and award-winning author who has published over ten children's books. If You Were Me and Lived in...Portugal is her most recent installment in a growing series of children's books that explores different countries and cultures from one-of-a-kind, kid-friendly perspective.

My take: My daughter and I really enjoyed reading the Portugal book. We actually learned a lot from it. I love it when we can read a book and actually obtain information to take with us and share. Well, this is how I feel when I read any of the books in the If You Were Me and Lived In... series. The fact that my daughter can tell me about the stuff she learns from this series brings a smile to my face.

Just like the other books, it starts out showing you what Portugal looks like by itself and then on a world globe. It then goes into the history of the country, which is very interesting, and we were able to learn that 240 million people speak their language. Just like the other books, we were able to learn what you might be named if you were a boy or girl. My daughter learned and actually uses "Olá, Máe" (translation Hey Mom). You learn about different foods, going to the store and more.

Not sure if it was just me, but I felt like this book had more of a language learning edge to it than the other ones. Maybe it is the way it is written, but I felt like we were actually able to learn more of the language in this book. I do enjoy the pronunciation throughout the book and the list at the end of the book. I also liked how the author has a couple of regular pictures mixed in with the cartoon ones.

I really like this series and if I try to read the book without my daughter she gets upset because she really enjoys them. I think this series should be a part of every one's library and feel like schools could even benefit from it.

This book was given to me by Bostick Communications for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Captain No Beard: The Crew Goes Coconuts!, by Carole P. Roman

Series: Captain No Beard

Paperback: 48 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Date: May 15, 2014

Language: English

About the Author: Award-winning author Carole P. Roman has produced another book for her "Captain No Beard" lineup. The first book in the series, "captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012, with a Star of Remarkable Merit, and was presented with a National Association of Book Entrepreneurs Pinnacle Award in 2013. Roman, a former teacher, is the mother of four and grandmother to many. She currently resides on Long Island with her husband.

About the book: As the imaginations of cousins Hallie and Alexander bring their stuffed animals to life, the crew of critters is stranded alongside a desert island. The friends wish to refresh their thirst; however, the newcomer to the ship makes a critical error that draws the negative attention of the other shipmates. Miffed by Matty the Goat's mistake, the parched crew turns on the hapless greenhorn with cruel taunts and personal attacks. Captain No Beard steps in and expertly navigates the rough waters of bullying with sensible leadership that leaves everyone with a good taste in their mouths.

My take: I think this is a really cute book. Plus, you can't go wrong when there is a series of them to read. I think the way the author teaches kids it is not okay to judge is incredible. She keeps her writing very simplistic, so that even a younger child could read it for themselves. Some of the names like, Mongo the Monkey and Linus the lion, I think helps to keep young ones interested. She uses dialogue that most younger kids would use when speaking about someone they do not like.

The artistry for the book is also great. The characters and colors that are used I feel really appeal to children. The way they are drawn grabbed my daughter's attention and made her want to read the book. The expressions on the character's faces really make you feel for them.

I think this is a really cute book that everyone should have their children read. It could really help them understand how to deal with bully issues. The story shows how it starts, what happens and the outcome to make it all work out.

This book was given to me by Bostick Communications for my honest review.

Monday, June 9, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived In... Russia, by Carole P. Roman

Series: If You Were Me and Lived in...

Paperback: 32 pages

Date: May 14, 2014

Language: English

If You Were Me and Lived in... Russia, by Carole P. Roman is a great book if you or your child want to learn about Russia. With the great cartoon pictures and word pronunciations, you can't help but enjoy learning.

About the author: Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the If You Were Me and Lived in... series, which won the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in 2012. She collaborated on this installment in the series with her five year old grandson, Alexander. Roman also writes the Captain No Beard series, the first of which was named a Kirkus Best of 2012, received a Star of Remarkable Merit, and won The Pinnacle Award in 2012.

My take: The book starts out showing where Russia is located on a globe, just like the front cover of the book. We are also shown some of the different names children might have if they lived over there. Also, what you would call your parents if you lived there. We are taken on a tour of the most popular places to visit and some of the favorite foods that one might have if they live in Russia. There is so much to learn from the book, like holidays and games to play.
In this book (also the series), the pictures are in cartoon form and are very colorful and will keep your child reading the book. It also has pronunciations throughout the story and a section in the back that list all the Russian words and how to say them phonetically. Every time my child reads one of these books, she actually learns something new about each country and I really love that.

If you have the chance to purchase this series, I highly advise it. I am one who loves to find ways for my child to learn in a fun and interesting way, and I think this series gives them the opportunity to learn about different places without feeling like they are in school.

I was given this book by Bostick Communications for my honest review.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wages Creek, by Jeffrey Hickey

Title: Wages Creek

Paperback: 40 pages

Date: April 23, 2014 (2nd ed.)

Publisher: Big-n-Boo Productions

Language: English

About the author: Jeffrey Hickey is an author of three adult novels, The Coach's Son, Morehead, and scary, man. He is currently working on his fourth novel, a piece of historical fiction, Where She Stands. He also wrote and scored a CD of stories for teenage children and adults called Bat and Bones, which will be re-released in the fall of 2014. All his work is or will be available in print, kindle and audio book. He wrote and scored Wages Creek in May and June of 1994. While awaiting publication of this book, he picked many blackberries, and always kept a spatula close by in case things got out of hand.

About the book: There was once a campground on the Northern California coast where a fresh, bubbling stream met the vast Pacific Ocean. The sandy beach was large, the grasses were tall and soft, three ducks had a problem, one man had a cold, and a horseshoe pit was in the middle of the solution. This is the story of a trip my family took to Wages Creek.

My take: Can I start out by saying awesome story! It makes me remember all the times that my parents took us camping when we were younger. We had a lot of fun, but not sure if it was as fun as what happens in this story. I read the book first and then listened to it (you can download it from iTunes or with my daughter while she held the book in her hand. Wages Creek, by Jeffrey Hickey is a breath of fresh air. Listening to the story being read by him really gets you into the book. He is very over the top while reading the story. But I think this is awesome. It totally had my daughter laughing, grabbed her attention and kept her attention throughout the whole story. 

I purposely read the book first without listening to it. I wanted to see how the story read. Most of the time when you hear a story being read, it is different from when you read it yourself. I have to say, this one is different. The read was just as good as listening to it. The author's writing is very engaging. He makes you want to keep reading so that you can figure out what happens. I feel like his style of writing benefits all ages. Not only younger kids will enjoy this story, but older ones as well. I think that everyone should include this book on their child's bookshelf. I don't think there is a person who wouldn't enjoy reading/listening to this story. My daughter listened/followed along with the book twice in a row. She really enjoyed it.

I received this book from Bostick Communications for my honest opinion.