Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Star Wars The Visual Encyclopedia

A1F9mTlA6zLStar Wars The Visual Encyclopedia
Published at DK

About the book

Covering more than 2,500 characters, creatures, planets, vehicles, Droids™, weapons, technology, and more from the Star Wars™ universe, this visual tour is the ultimate compendium for the epic saga and beyond.

With a full history of the galactic politics, the Jedi Council, and the Empire, Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopediawalks fans through the entire timeline of Star Wars. Galleries of images and information on every page, including lightsabers, languages, clothing, and more, are showcased with fascinating facts and trivia. See the blasters of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope™, look at the stormtroopers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens™, and study the geography of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story™.

Discover the food, architecture, transportation, and more from this galaxy far, far away. Each section of the book focuses on different topics to dedicate special attention and detail to every part of the universe, no matter how small. From the planets in the outer rim to Padmé's bridal wear, nothing is missed.

A celebration of all things Star Wars, this visual museum is the perfect addition to any fan's bookshelf.

My Thoughts

This book is a great resource for anything and everything related to the Star Wars universe.  The reader will discover, through the pages of this book, all the geography, nature, history, culture, science and technology that has made Star Wars popular through the years.    Whether you are a huge fan of Star Wars or just getting introduce to this world that your friend or family member keeps talking about, this book will open up the whole universe and will inform you about all the characters and more.

I am always impressed with DK books but this particular one based on Star Wars is a jewel in itself because of all the details included through the pages.   You will have all the different droids at the thumb of your fingers, you will be able to discover all the helmets, outfits, armor used by the characters, explore the aquatic creatures that can be found on different worlds and discover much more in these pages.




The images in this book are stunning.  The information will provide hours of reading for anyone interested in the Star Wars universe.   Do you have a reluctant reader that is a huge fan of Star Wars – this book is definitively for him or her.   I believe strongly that a child can enjoy reading if we place a book on their interests.  Consequently if a child enjoy Star Wars and desire to learn more about it, this book is definitively the best one to have because it is well designed and contains a ton of information on the Star Wars Universe.

The book not only covers all the movies but also all the other television shows based on Star Wars.  This means that sometimes you will have pictures of cartoons or real life characters.   Seeing that all is linked together, I think it is good that DK has included everything from the galaxy, far, far away.

Star Wars The Visual Encyclopedia is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote their 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, June 4, 2018

The Curious Nature Guide

CuriousNatureGuide - CopyThe Curious Nature Guide – Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You
By Clare Walker Leslie
Published at Storey Publishing

About the book

With dozens of simple prompts and exercises, best-selling author, naturalist, and artist Clare Walker Leslie invites you to step outside for just a few minutes a day, reignite your sense of wonder about the natural world, and discover the peace and grounding that come from connecting with nature. Using stunning photography as well as the author’s own original illustrations, The Curious Nature Guide will inspire you to use all of your senses to notice the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of the trees, plants, animals, birds, insects, clouds, and other features that can be seen right outside your home, no matter where you live. Sketch or write about one exceptional nature image each day; learn to identify cloud types and the weather they bring; or create a record of what you see each day as you walk your dog. Easy, enjoyable, and enlightening, these simple exercises will transform your view of the world and your place within it.

My Thoughts

I love nature – exploring the woods or walking in the neighborhood is always a fun activity to do whether alone or with family/friends.

So I was curious about this book.  How could it make exploring nature more fun and entertaining.   As soon as I grabbed the book and started reading it I was hooked.  

The author has beautifully reduced the table of contents to three sections – begin, discover, connect.

Begin – first, you need to pause.  Wherever you are, open your senses to the world of nature around you.   This section will give you some tips on how to pause and enjoy what is around you whether you are in the woods or in a park in the downtown area.  There is always something to enjoy.

Discover – This section will help you identify what trigger your curiosity.  Take a closer look at the clouds, the night sky, the plants and animals, rivers, rocks and so on.  This weekend I was doing Uber and a young lady requested a ridesharing.   At some point she simply said “I love the clouds.”   I lifted my eyes and looked at the clouds – they were ok but not the beautiful white puffy ones.  Then she proceeded to tell me that she came to Canada from India back in December.  In India there is so much pollution that they do not see the clouds.  Then it dawned on me…. for us Canadians we probably take the clouds for granted because we see them all the time.   I am thankful for her comment because it made me realize that we are blessed to be able to see clouds on a daily basis.

Connect – This section is interesting to me.   The author encourages you to journal and meditate on nature.  Personally I would prefer just drawing what I see but everyone is different.   I would also bring my faith in my drawings and observations of nature.   But the author encourage you in developing a new way of connecting with what you have observe – could be drawing, writing a story or a poem, using photography, anything.

CuriousNature-Slide-1 CuriousNature-Slide-4 - Copy

CuriousNature-Slide-2 - Copy CuriousNature-Slide-5

Through the pages of this book, the author is slowly expanding your senses and your observation skills in order to help you to be more aware of the nature surrounding you on a daily basis.  This would also be a great book to discover as a family, for homeschoolers, or within a class.

The Curious Nature Guide is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned book 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.

Birds of Florida

51uGmMbopxLBirds of Florida
By Fred J. Alsop III
Published at DK

About the book

The most comprehensive series of field guides to North American birds ever. This impressive collection highlights birds from all regions of the United States including localized areas such as the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest and New England. Whether birding in the foothills of New England, the prairies of the Midwest, or the beaches of Florida, Smithsonian Handbooks are the most comprehensive field guides to North American birds on the market. Looking for the Great Blue Heron or the Piping Plover while visiting the Great Lakes? Desperate to find the rare Long Billed Curlew or the Marbled Godwit during a hike in the Cascade Mountains? There's no need to look any further! Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution, these amazing guides are an absolute staple for any birder or amateur ornithologist. Each local species receives its own profile, along with descriptions of habitats and annotated photographs that highlight specific characteristics and other points of interest. Take bird watching to new heights!

My Thoughts

As I mentioned in a previous post, our family will be driving to Florida sometime this summer.  And being the kind of person who enjoy learning more about the animals and birds I decided it would be fun to discover some of the birds that we might encounter while there.   This is why I requested the book Birds of Florida which is part of the Smithsonian Handbooks published at DK.

This book is packed with beautiful birds that can be seems in Florida or on the coast of this state.   The first 35 pages of the book will explain how the book works and the visual references within the book.  Then you can discover more about the anatomy of birds along with the different part of a bird on a two-page presentation. The book also highlights the variations within species, how to identify birds, how to identify birds in flight, their silhouettes, behavior, how to do birdwatching and how to be a better birder.   Once you have read these pages, you can start exploring Florida in order to discover the birds in the book.  Make sure you bring binoculars as well when your are going out that way you won’t miss any beautiful specimen that might come across your path.

Each pages included in this book contains photographs, illustrations, a list of similar birds, a distribution map with indication as to if the bird is a permanent resident/summer resident/winter resident, flight patterns, nest identification, habitat, and much more.


This book is definitively the kind of book I would bring when visiting a state.   The fact that is contains specifically the bird found in Florida is particularly nice because that means that the book is easy to carry.  Mind you it contains over 400 pages so it is quite thick but the size is perfect to slip it in a backpack.  No matter where we are, I will bring this book with us at all times.  As a matter of fact, I plan to leave it in the truck so that way we will not forget it when we leave the RV.   That way it will always be available for us to check it.   I also plan to bring it with us when we go on the coasts to go to the beach.  

Needless to say for Floridians or visitors that enjoy birds, this book is definitively a must have.   And even if you go to Florida for a few weeks, you can always leave the book behind for someone else to use it.    I am looking forward to discover the birds of Florida with my family – especially since we will be camping in state parks which I suspect will have some birds to observe.

Birds of Florida is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


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.