Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the 4th is a special day observed by fans of the films throughout the world.   Observance of this special day is highlighted via the internet and social media.      The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, ON back in 2011.    Since then many take the day to highlight the movies, the world of Star Wars and promote products based on the whole universe of Star Wars.star-wars-boutique-button-2016-185x185

Consequently, it is not a surprise that DK Canada offers a special boutique where you can find numerous titles especially dedicated to the Star Wars Universe.

 

51SOCaQ3PLLStar Wars Complete Vehicles

For any fan who wants to explore the inner workings of the spaceships and vehicles of all six Star Wars™ movies comes this fascinating expanded edition of a fan favorite, now with new cross-section artworks and a wealth of new photos.  This is definitively the book to own if you have a child (or adult) in your life who would enjoy learning about all the various vehicles in the Star Wars universe.  But wait a minute, this book isn’t about only information on the vehicle – you will discover the interior of them like you have never imagine before!

Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections is packed with visual explorations of more than fifty essential Star Wars spacecraft and landcraft, including the TIE bomber, Imperial shuttle, A-wing, B-wing, and more. Each full-color cross-section artwork presents in-depth examinations of each craft's weapon systems, engines, hyperdrives, cockpits, and construction secrets, providing a never-before-seen glimpse at the vehicles that drive the Star Wars universe. Star Wars.

Some of the page will open to provide of four-page view of one particular vehicle.  And at the end of the book, you will obtain some vehicle technical data files, a glossary, and a bit of information on the two guys behind this book. 

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With these extensive cross-sections information on the vehicles of the first Star Wars movies, the book would make a great gift to a child who is prone toward mechanics of engineering.   

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Here is the perfect book to become an expert on the Star Wars galaxy!  Ultimate Star Wars is essentially an in-depth visual feast exploring the characters and storylines from the Star Wars galaxy. This book is a beautifully illustrated guide that is structured chronologically and packed full of information about key characters and storylines from the Star Wars movie saga, The Clone Wars, and Rebels™.

The table of content is divided into four sections:

  • Characters and Creatures: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Con Jinn, Sheev Palpatine, Padmé Amidala, departure from Tatooine, R2-D2, Darth Maul, Anakin Skywalker, a vote of no confidence, C-3PO, battle of Geonosis, Yoda, Mace Windy, Ahsoka walks away, Clone Trooper, Boba Fett, Yoda’s trials, Count Dooku, Captain Rex, Asajj Ventress, General Grievous, Ahsoka Tano, Liberty Dies, Chewbacca, Death Star escape, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, rescue on Hoth, Stormtrooper, Ezra Bridger, Vader’s Revelation, Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, another Skywalker, Luke redeems his father, behind the scene.
  • Locations: Naboo, the battle of Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, Mos Espa Grand Arena, Jedi Temple, Kamino’s Clone Army, Geonosis, Lars Moisture Farm, Geonosis Execution Arena, Jabba’s Palace, Mustafar, Duel on Mustafar, Mos Eisley Spaceport, Death on Mortis, Dagobah, Training on Dagobah, Kashyyyk, the Death Star, Lothal, Yavin 4, Hoth, Cloud City, Cloud City capture, the Great Pit of Carkoon, Endor, behind the scenes
  • Technology: battle droid, super battle droid, faithful droid, behind the scenes
  • Vehicles: Slave 1, the search for Shmi, the battle of Coruscant, Millennium Falcon, Ghost, TIE Fighter, the battle of Yavin, Red Five, the battle of Endor, behind the scenes.

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Bottom line, Ultimate Star Wars will get new and old fans caught up and knowledgeable on all things Star Wars.  The book is packed with stunning pictures and fabulous description on everything related to the Star Wars universe.    It is the perfect book to give to the fan in your life which desire to learn more about Star Wars.   It is a great book to help kids of all ages to read more if their interest is in Star Wars.  Don’t be surprise if they come to you with some interesting fact about a movie or episode of Star Wars because this book will definitively highlight many aspects of the beloved universe.

 

51hh95sAgaLLEGO Star Wars Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy

When I saw the cover of this book, I knew that my kids would enjoy it – not only because they are fans of Star Wars but because they also enjoy Lego.    I suspect that it will also give them some ideas on how to create fun scenes with their own Star Wars Lego in order to develop their creative side.

This book was created by Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimäki using his son's favorite toys.  The book features painstaking recreations of classic movie moments and hilarious new takes on fan-favorite characters and themes. You will also find some Informative captions give technical details for each scene, while anecdotes from Lehtimäki offer background insights to his creative process.  It is a book about very original scenes using Lego.  

The book is divided in four sections – Tatooine, Hoth, Endor and behind the scenes.  In the last section, the reader will learn more about how the photograph has created his scenes and the process to get stunning photographs.  

LEGO Star Wars Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy is a breathtaking new look at a timeless icon that allows fans to see their favorite minifigures from the classic saga in an exciting new way.

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After visualizing these images, it encourages me to develop of creative side using things like Lego figures.   I suspect it will also stir the creativity of my own kids particularly my son Dominic who is more prone to do things like Lego movie with his iPad.    I would consider this more like a coffee table book – the kid you leave in your living room for people to go through.  It could make a wonderful gift to the child who enjoys Lego Star Wars and that you know he/she would be able to do fun things like this.

 

Star Wars The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections51Y6Pkuv2gL

When I looked at the book Star Wars Complete Vehicles, I knew that eventually the vehicles of Star Wars: The Force Awaken would get one like this as well.   Well it did not take long for DK to create this stunning book to present the hidden parts of the vehicles in the latest movie of the Star Wars universe.   This book offers an unparalleled detail with this newest addition to the Star Wars Incredible Cross Sections series. Twelve breathtaking artworks bring the new craft to life, showing all of the weapons, engines, and technology, while engaging text explains each vehicle's backstory and key features.

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Again it is a perfect book for a child who enjoy mechanics or engineering.   It is packed with stunning details on vehicles used in the latest movie of Star Wars.  

Download your May the 4th Be With You activity kit to help make the most of your Star Wars celebrations with your kids.

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The Be a Rebel Read a Book Boutique dedicated to Star Wars contains many more titles.  Check them out by clicking on the image below and May the 4th Be With You!

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All these Star Wars titles are available at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, May 2, 2016
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Whether you are rooting for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman or Lex Luthor, choosing sides with Captain America or Iron Man in Civil, or making a choice between the light and the dark side of the force, this pop culture fueled boutique from DK Canada should fan the flames of your fandom.   The Heroes & Villains Boutique has all the books you might want to read more about your favorite super-hero or villain. 

 

51m9mv5h8tLCaptain America Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger

If there is one hero we didn’t had a book about him it was definitively Captain America.   One day my son Dominic asked me if DK had a book on Cap, I wasn’t sure about it so I emailed DK and asked them.  Their reply was that a book will be soon available for the Heroes & Villains Boutique.

I  find that the Ultimate Guide books that we have received in the past to be packed with information on a specific hero in the universe of Super-Heroes.   This book will allow you to read quite a bit on the First Avenger – Captain America as it is packed with information about friends, enemies, and storylines, this guide explores the exciting and rich history of the character.  Through the pages of the book you will follow Steve Rogers' journey from the sickly and small Army volunteer to the iconic leader of the Avengers.   Also, you will discover his biggest adventures, battles, allies, and foes. Marvel's Captain America: The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger focuses on some of the character's most famous comic book arcs, starting from the 1941 debut of Captain America Comics #1 to modern day.

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When it comes to reading, I find it important to have a book that you enjoy.   This past year, one of my kids had to read a book for Awana and write a little report on it.   It took forever to finish the story and write the report.   But give him a book on a super-hero and he will read it thoroughly non-stop.   If you have something that you enjoy reading, then you can easily go through a book.   And for some boys reading novels is just not appealing but something about super-heroes will trigger their interest.   So if you have a Captain America fan in your family, I suggest that you consider this title as a motivation to practice their reading skill.  

51GJiwPPmGLBatman A Visual History

Batman: A Visual History follows the DC Comics Super Hero from his 1939 beginnings as a crime-fighting vigilante to his present status as a worldwide cultural icon approaching his 75th anniversary.   Essentially, the book celebrates Batman's greatest stories and the writers and artists that created them. It also charts the careers of the Super Heroes and super-villains — Robin, the Justice League, the Joker, Catwoman — associated with Gotham City's Dark Knight. The book will also present the debuts of every key Batman character as well as some details of Batman movie and TV series, both live-action and animated.

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The table of content is divided into specific group of years: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Each era will highlight specific covers and information about the famous Dark Knight.  The book comes into a strong slip case and also contains two exclusive prints.   If you have a love one who is a big fan of Batman, this book is definitively a great gift to get.   

 

6112xRG5LyL._SX405_BO1,204,203,200_DC Comics a Visual History

This fabulous book will trace DC's fascinating story: the company's beginnings as National Allied Publications in the 1934, and its subsequent change to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1937 up until a more recent history. The book literally details all the major DC publishing landmarks and more, displayed clearly, month by month. 

Through the pages of this book you will find highlights of the debuts of iconic super heroes like Superman and Batman, the geniuses that invented them, and the real-life events, like the Vietnam War, the atom bomb, and the Space Race, that shaped the atmosphere of the times.  DC Comics: A Visual History follows the characters' foray into the real world through TV series and blockbuster movies as well.

The table of content is divided into years – 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. It is the perfect gift to give to someone who is a huge fan of DC Comics.   The book comes in a great slip case and contains two new prints. 

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61daoEVBv1LMarvel Year by Year

Finally, the last but not the least book I received to review is Marvel Year by Year A Visual Chronicle.   One again a book like this will provide much information about loved characters from the Marvel comics - from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to the uncanny X-Men, Marvel Comics has been entertaining people for over 70 years with its fantastic characters and engaging stories.

Marvel Year by Year outlines the evolution of Marvel Comics from its beginnings to today, including all of Marvel's publishing landmarks, displayed clearly on a month-by-month timeline. It highlights the debuts of key characters, the comic geniuses that created them, and the real-life events that inspired them, like the Vietnam War, the atom bomb, and the Space Race.

The book is packed with original comic book art featuring numerous classic covers.   This is a fully revised and updated edition which includes 32 new pages that cover the years since its original edition.  Thought the pages of this book you will find in-depth, unparalleled information about this remarkable institution, its characters, and the creators.  

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The book also comes in a slip case and contains two stunning exclusive prints.   The book would also make a great gift for someone who is a Marvel fan and who desires to learn more about the history of the company and the evolution of its comics.

As you can see these books can be a beautiful gift for someone you love who likes either DC or Marvel.  The art through these books is stunning and it is very interesting to see the difference in how comics were designed back in the 1940s compared to nowadays.  I know my own kids really enjoy reading more about their favorite super-heroes and comic companies.   And these books will definitively bring more reading opportunity for them.

The Heroes & Villains Boutique has a lot more to offer.  Check it out today!

All these books are available for purchase at a bookstore near you, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Rio Grande Games for Crown and Kingdom Board GameFor Crown & Kingdom
Rio Grande Games

About the game

The king lies weakened on his deathbed.  His Majesty has but days to live, and has failed to produce an heir.  Any of the local barons could be next in line, as long as they are able to gain the approval of the people.  Each has set off on a heroic campaign around the kingdom. They vie for fame, for glory, and for the crown!

Our Thoughts

When we received the game Crown & Kingdom, we didn't know what the goal of the game was as this was a new release on the market. However by reading the instructions we discovered that the goal is to have your team of specialized emissaries to travel the kingdom, raise funds, obstruct opponents, and gain support of the people in order to become the new monarch.

For let me talk about the components of this game. First, you will see that there are six region tiles which are double-sided. I will explain later on how you can set up the tiles depending of the number of players. Second, you will obtain 20 character discs which you have to setup by placing the male sticker on one side and the female sticker on the other side. This will allow the players to either choose to play with the male or female side of each character. Also included in the box are four reference cards Finally, you will find two type of tokens - support and coins.

As I mentioned above, the regions can be placed differently depending of the number of players. On side of a region will consist of a large pie shape while the other side will display two smaller pie shapes. Here's how you can set up the game when you consider the number of players.

2 players = 6 large regions
3 players = 3 large regions, 6 small regions (The pattern of larger and smaller regions does not matter.)
4 players = 12 small regions

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A fun way to start the game is the first player to make a trumpet sound and announce himself/ herself as the starting player is the one to go first. I love it when there is originality like this in games.

Essentially there are three steps each player will have to do: purchase a bride (which is optional and varies between 1 to 4 coins), move a character, and use that character's ability. You will have five character discs in all: duke/duchess, merchant, thief, knight, and scholar. The duke/duchess adds support tokens to regions. The merchant earn coins. The thief steals coins from other players. The knight remove opponent's characters from the kingdom. The scholar's ability depends on its current region where you use the action written on the region.

I am very impressed with the thickness and the quality of the map pieces and the tokens.   The tokens itself are easy to manipulate during the game.   But the part that really impress me is the character discs as these are made of wood and are very smooth to the touch.  I would suggest that when you open you box you take the time to read the instruction for the character discs.   If you are not careful you could make an error while placing the stickers on the wood discs.   Make sure that you are using both the correct male and female stickers for each character.   I really like the idea that you can choose to be a male or female for the characters as this gives you more flexibility in what you want to play.    I also like the different way we can set up the game depending on how many players you have.   And the fact that you can set up in various ways – particularly with 3 players is interesting as you can have numerous possibilities.

The only negative point I would like to mention is that I wish the player reference cards would be made of ticker material like the tiles and tokens.  This would allow you to protect them against bending and tear.   My other little disappointment would be that this game is geared for two t four players.   I wish that creators of games would offer more possibilities for bigger families sometimes.  Most board games we find on the market have a limit of five players which is not the best for a family of six.  Sometimes you can get an expansion that would allow you to play with six people but not all games offer this.  On another hand, I guess we could play in teams but it beats the purpose of the competition sometimes.   

The game can be played between two to four players.  One game could last from 30 to 60 minutes long depending of the number of players.  

For Crown & Kingdom is available for purchase at amazon.ca and amazon.com.

  

Disclaimer: Thanks to Rio Grande Games for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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