Monday, September 30, 2013

Parenting Your Powerful Child

9780800720209Parenting Your Powerful Child
From Dr. Kevin Leman
Published at Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

About the book

Don't let those cherublike faces fool you.

Your smart kids have an agenda--and they're workin' ya.

Powerful kids don't just happen. They're created, and their power comes in different packages. Whether loud and temperamental, quiet and sensitive, or stubborn and manipulative, powerful children can make living with them a challenge. But it doesn't have to be that way.
In Parenting Your Powerful Child, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman offers a practical action plan to redirect your child's power surges into positive traits that will prepare your child for a successful, happy, and productive adult life. With these simple but effective techniques, you can transform your home from a daily battle zone to a safe and peaceful place. All it takes is a little determination--and some small changes on your part--to make a huge difference in your family life.

Ready for the power struggle to end?

My Thoughts

As soon as I saw this new title from Dr. Leman, I knew that it would be good.   I will admit that when it comes to parenting Dr. Leman is one of my favourite author, alongside with Dr. James Dobson and Dr. Tim Kimmel.   So I didn’t hesitate one second to request this book last month.   I knew it was just a book that I needed to read.   I have seen power struggles while I shopped and I will admit that even in this household we do deal with powerful kids.   I have one that is very strong will and he can just know how to make your react.  Though this book is not about dealing with strong-willed children but instead it will give you guidance in how to identify the powerful child in your family and how to deal with it.

As I read this book, I could easily identify how a child can become powerful in a family.  Dr. Leman says that it doesn’t just happens.  Believe it or not, powerful children are created and that power comes in different packages.  You think that your child is too shy – it’s a form a power.   You think that your child is just plain stubborn – power again.  Somehow the child has developed this power by discovering he/she can get it his/her way if she acted a certain way.   The book will teach you how to channel these power surges into positive actions/traits that will help your child to become successful, happy and a productive adult later in life.

In all, you will find sixteen chapters in this book.  All of these are well written and you will easily understand what the author is saying as he doesn’t use complicated terms.  

  • Chapter 1: The anatomy of a Powerful Child – understanding where power comes from.
  • Chapter 2: Power Comes in Different Packages.
  • Chapter 3: The Loud, Aggressive, Temperamental, Curveball Manipulator
  • Chapter 4: The Quiet, Shy, Sensitive, Walk-on-Eggshells Manipulator
  • Chapter 5: The Stubborn, Procrastinating Manipulator
  • Chapter 6: What Do Genes Have to Do with It? – discover how personalities in the nursery can predict how your child will be in 5, 10, 15 years.
  • Chapter 7: What Does Environment Have to Do with It?
  • Chapter 8: Raising Attila the Hun – in this chapter you will discover how parent unwittingly create powerful children…
  • Chapter 9: Why Kids Misbehave – Discover that deep down they have a goal.
  • Chapter 10: The Attention-Getting Kid
  • Chapter 11: Power-Driven or Determined? – how to determine the different and what can be done to use the power surges for your advantage
  • Chapter 12: You’re the Adult, They’re the Children – your background and your views of parenting
  • Chapter 13: What Kind of Kid Do You Want? – win-win suggestions to help
  • Chapter 14: Grace-Based Parenting – have a prodigal?  This chapter is for you!
  • Chapter 15: Rewiring Your Home – what you used to say and what you will say now
  • Chapter 16: Redirecting the Power Surge – how to encourage positive goals and help your child to use their drive for good purpose

You can glean beneficial information through the pages of this book.  Each chapter contains personal examples from the Leman family as well as testimonies from people who have applied the techniques of Dr. Leman in their relationship with their kids.   I find it beneficial to have these testimonies and discover how other people have dealt with some issues.   Also at the end of each chapter you will find a quick Power Point section that summarize the essential things that you need to remember. As I read this book, I could easily identify some of the power that my own kids have used in the past.   Even if my oldest is twelve years old and my youngest is five, I think I still have much to learn about parenting (should I mentioned that I am an only child?).   Our four kids are quite different from each others in personality, how they learn and how they deal with things.    Every day brings new challenges but I love these kids to pieces and want them to be accomplished adults later in life.   That’s why I am always trying to improve my parenting skills and having books like this one help me to attain this goal.

Thank you Dr. Leman for writing this book and encouraging me to persevere.   You are an inspiration for us as parents.   I am learning so much when I am reading one of your books.  I am looking forward to your next title. *grin*  Until then I will apply the techniques I have learned through the pages of Parenting Your Powerful Child

Parenting Your Powerful Child is available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, even and

Hardcover Edition


Paperback Edition


Kindle Edition


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review purposes from Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 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.

Star Wars Reads Day

1186340_578217042235828_480256070_nStar Wars Reads Day is coming to Canada for the first time next month. Star Wars Read Day is a day-long celebration of literacy and Jedi, Sith, Wookies, and all things Star Wars.   This year, it will be held at participating stores in the US and Canada on October 5th.  This special initiative will feature Star Wars Fans, authors, and artists.   The participating publishing partners are Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, DK, Quirk Books, Random House Audio, Scholastic, Titan Magazines, and Workman.   Last year, during the Star Wars Read Day there were 30 authors and 1500 costumed volunteers in order 1200 Star Wars Reads Day events.  

In order to promote and celebrate, I have been offered to review some of the Star Wars titles that DK Canada offers to readers of all ages.  The full list of titles held by DK Canada can be visualized on their website.  Please note that at the time of this posting, DK Canada offers a special 30% off for a limited time.   Also, DK Canada offers numerous levelled Star Wars Readers which are tailor-made for Star Wars Reads.   You can access the list of all the DK Star Wars Readers on their website as well.

 Special Events will be happening on October 5th in participating stores.  For Ottawa, you can either go to Chapters Kanata Centrum (starts at 12pm) or Chapters Rideau (Starts at 3:30pm). 

More info on Star Wars Reads Day is here:


I was able to pick and choose the titles I wanted to review for this special events.  Here are the titles I have selected.

9781465408747HStar Wars Complete Vehicles

This fabulous book will bring much joy in any Star Wars fan and detailed oriented person.   The Star Wars Complete Vehicles book will allow you to explore the inner working of the spaceships and vehicles from all Star Wars movies.   This special expanded edition now possess new cross-section artworks and fabulous photos.      It is packed with visual explorations of numerous Star Wars spacecraft and landcraft, including the TIE bomber, the Imperial shuttle, A-Wing, B-Wing, and much more.  Packed with detailed drawings full in color you can examine each craft’s weapon systems, engine, hyperdrives, cockpits, and construction secrets.   You will definitively be expose to never-before-seen glimpse at the vehicles that are seen in the Star Wars universe.   I have passionate kids when it comes to Star Wars.  Over the past couple of years, every time we have the opportunity to get a new book related to the series, the kids dive right into the book and proceed to inform us on their newly found knowledge.   

This book will bring the same enthusiasm, the same excitement and the same love of learning that previous Star Wars books have brought in my household.  As I flip through the pages of this book, I can feel the awe and imagination climbing in me.   The drawing are stupendous with details that will excites any Star Wars fan.   Earlier this year, we had the privilege to go visit the Star Wars Identities exposition at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.   Going through the pages of this marvelous book reminded me of the ships I had seen while visiting the special exposition. 



Star Wars Complete Vehicles is definitively a book that will provide numerous hours of reading to your Star Wars fan. Next time you do a marathon of the movies with your family, expect your knowledgeable fan to state interesting facts about the vehicles and spacecraft seen in the movies. 


9780756682538HStar Wars Character Encyclopedia

The Star Wars Character Encyclopedia is the definitive illustrated guide to get for the fan in you or in your family.   Discover all that you always wanted to know about your favorite characters of the Star Wars galaxy!  Through the pages of this book you will get the profiles of the characters from the Star Wars galaxy complete with stat boxes, expert text, incredible movie stills, and photos.   The book is similar to the Star Wars The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia and will allow you to learn more about the characters in the movies.   I find that this book is fabulous more about the not so frequent characters encountered in the movies.  With more than 200 profiles, this is book is a must have for Star Wars fans of all ages.

See some of the pages from the book!



9780756611576HDK Reader Star Wars What is a Wookie?

This specific title has been written especially for the young fans of the furry, friendly Wookies and other aliens from the Star Wars world.     This book is considered a Level 1 – Beginning to Read DK Reader which means you will find word repetition, limited vocabulary, and simple sentences.  Your young reader will be able to discover more about C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Jar Jar Binks, Watto, Sebulba, the Pit Droids, Jabba the Hutt, Dexter Jettster, Jawas, and my favourite ones the Ewoks!  *grin*  This book is definitively a great introduction to the characters in the movies. 


DK Reader Star Wars The Clone Wars Ackbar’s Underwater Army9780756692476H

This specific title is considered a Level 3 – Reading Alone Dk Reader.  It contains more complex sentence structure, information boxes, a comprehensive index, as well as an alphabetical glossary.   This title will recall another episode of the Star Wars The Clone Wars as your readers join the amphibious warrior Ackbar and his fellow squidheaded militants in an underwater battle on his aquatic homeworld of Mon Calamari.  If you have a child who enjoys watching the Star Wars The Clone Wars but is reluctant in reading, I strongly suggest that you consider the DK Readers books based on Star Wars and Star Wars The Clone Wars.   I have found from my own experience as a parent that having books that spark the interest in the child will be move effective in encouraging reading than only putting them books that you think they will like.  


9780756692452HDK Reader Star Wars The Clone Wars Chewbacca and the Wookie Warriors

This specific title from the DK series is considered a Level 2 – Beginning to Read Alone DK Reader.  This means that you will find longer sentences and increased vocabulary throughout the pages of this book as well as information boxes containing fun facts and a simple index.   I picked this title because apart from the Wookies another favourite character of mine is definitively Chewbacca.   In Chewbacca and the Wookie Warriors, a younger Chewbacca is teaming up with Jedi Ashoka to smash and bash their way our of a planetwide Trandoshan hunting party with the help of the marooned Jedi younglings.   Based on an episode of the popular television series Star Wars The Clone Wars, this book will encourage your kids to develop their reading skills in order to re-discover the adventures of the Wookie Warriors. 


Star Wars Mega Models9781465401793H

This is one of my favourite items from the Star Wars books that DK offers.  This all-in-one kit allows fans to build their very own 3D Star Wars paper models.  In the book, you will have step-by-step instructions in order to allow you build Anakin’s lightsaber, a TIE fighter, Boba Fett’s bounty hunter helmet as well as my favourite Yoda!  While building from the punch-out card-stick model parts, the young fan of Star Wars will also learn fascinating facts.   Each model is rated depending on its level of difficulty.   I would strongly suggest that you start with the easier ones before embarking on more complex ones like Yoda or the TIE fighter which is consider an advanced one.   With this book, you have the opportunity to build and discover the galaxy's characters, technology, weapons, and vehicles in Star Wars®: Mega Models!  

Honestly, I almost wish that there would be more books like this in the future.  It’s a great way to entertain your kids and have fun at the same time.  However, please note that I personally think that this book is not recommended for kids whom are younger than nine years old.  Younger than that might bring some issues of impatience and some crying because of the complexity of the models.  


DK Canada has a special activity book that you can download and print.  It contains recipes, crafts, coloring pages as well as games.   Don’t hesitate to get this…  It’s totally FREE!  Click on the image below to access it.



All of these titles and many more are available at your favourite bookstore, even and    And don’t forget that DK Canada has a special sale (at the time of the post) where you can save up to 30% off on titles from their Star Wars titled.








Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned titles 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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Truth Seekers–The Machine

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

B&H Kids (September 1, 2013)
***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***


Bill Myers is an accomplished writer and film director whose work has won more than sixty national and international awards including the C. S. Lewis Honor Award. Among his best-selling
releases for kids are The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle and The Forbidden Door. He has sold more than eight million books and videos and lives with two cats, two kids, one dog, and one
wife near Hollywood, California.

Visit the author's website.


For ages 10 to 14, Truth Seekers is a fast-paced, thoughtful, and funny new series using a 21st century approach to sharing ancient Bible truths.

In book one, The Machine, twin siblings Jake and Jennifer have just lost their mother and are not thrilled about moving to Israel to stay with their seldom seen archaeologist dad. They don't yet understand how "all things work together for good to those who love God." But they will when a machine their father invented points them to the Truth.
Product Details:
List Price: $10.99
Age Range: 10 - 14 years
Series: Truth Seekers
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: B&H Kids (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433690802
ISBN-13: 978-1433690808


It was like a dream, but not really. I mean it was a dream but there were parts that seemed so real—besides the parts where Mom had actually died in real life. Does that make sense? I get those every once in a while, dreams that are more real than real, ever since I was a kid.

Anyway, in the dream Mom was driving our SUV up the steep, winding road to our home in Malibu Canyon.

Jake and I were in the back, sitting in our clearly designated seating areas . . .

Jake in his WARNING: Biological Hazard Zone, complete with empty Cheetos bags, crumpled McDonald wrappers (which had last seen action months ago), his wadded up T-shirt and crusty socks (which had last seen a washer longer than that), and don’t even get me started on the last time he shampooed his hair.

I, on the other hand, sat in the WELCOME: This is How Normal People Live Zone, complete with breathable air and a place to sit without catching some deadly disease. (Jake accuses me of being a Neat Freak. Maybe, but it’s better than being a toxic waste site.)

And where was our dear father in all of this? To be honest, he seldom shows up in my dreams—just like he seldom shows up in our real lives. Oh, he says he loves us and all, but what’s the saying? Actions are louder than words. Anyway, I’ll get to him a little later.

It was the same dream I’d had a hundred times before . . .

I was busy doing homework when I glanced up to see a monster truck coming around the corner in our lane.

“Mom!” I shouted. “Look out!”

“What’s that?” She reached over to turn down the radio—one of her silly Country-Western songs about some girl breaking some guy’s heart.

“Up ahead! Look out!”

But she didn’t look out. And, just like all the other times, I saw the truck heading towards us, blasting its horn. I’m guessing his brakes had failed by the way he was scraping along the mountainside to slow himself. A good idea, except the mountainside was on our side!

Mom had nowhere to go. She swerved to the outer lane then tried to turn back, but she’d run out of road. We crashed through the guardrail and sailed out over the can- yon floor, which was a good two hundred feet below. There was no sound. I could see Mom screaming but heard only silence—except for that Country-Western singer going on about his broken heart.

I spun to Jake but he didn’t even glance up. He was too busy playing his stupid computer game. Then, just when the singer reached the line, Why you stompin’ on my achin’ heart with your high heel boots, we hit the water with a huge splash.

And this is where things get interesting . . .

In the real world, on the day Mom died, there was no water at the bottom of the canyon. It was September and the stream had dried up. And while we’re doing a reality check, Jake and I weren’t even in the car that day. Jake had been at the beach being Mr. Cool with a bunch of girls, and I was at home doing my algebra. (I know I’m only seventh grade, but besides being a neat freak, I’m kind of a workaholic.)

But in the dream there was plenty of water and the SUV kept sinking deeper and deeper with all three of us inside. Well, actually four, if you count the Country- Western singer who was now sitting in the front passenger seat, strumming his guitar!

Water poured in and quickly rose. Mom tried opening her door, but it wouldn’t budge. She hit it with her shoulder over and over again, but the pressure of the water outside was too much. It began swirling around our waists and rising to our chests.

“Jenny,” Mom shouted, “roll down your window!” “It’ll flood us worse!” I yelled.

“It’s the only way. Roll down your window and swim out!”



I threw a look to Jake who had conveniently disappeared. (Even in my dreams, he’s a slacker.)


I rolled down the window. More water roared in, pounding against my chest and face. I had to turn my head just to breathe. Then I grabbed the sides of the open window with my hands, turned my head away for another quick breath, and pulled myself out into the water.

I kicked and swam until I grabbed the SUV and pulled myself over to Mom’s door. By now the car was completely filled. Our faces were inches apart, separated only by her window. I yanked at the door handle. It didn’t budge. I tried again. Nothing. My lungs started aching for air, but I kept pulling and tugging as Mom kept pushing and banging.

Still, nothing.

My heart pounded in my ears. My lungs felt like they were on fire. The outside edges of my vision started going white. Mom pounded on the glass. I joined in and hit the window with my fists. When that didn’t work, I tucked in my feet, raised my legs and kicked it. Still nothing. My lungs were screaming for air. My vision grew whiter. I had to get a breath. I pointed to the surface and shouted, “I’ll be back!”

She nodded and I pushed off, my lungs ready to explode. Sparkly lights danced through my head. I was losing consciousness, I was going to pass out, I was—

Then I broke through the surface, coughing and gasping. Cool air soothed my lungs as I gulped in two, three, maybe four breaths. I forced my head to clear, then took one more breath and ducked back down into the water.

It was dark and murky but I could follow the bubbles. The SUV had settled to the bottom of the river. When I reached the roof, I pulled myself over to Mom’s side. She wasn’t moving.


I yanked at the door. I slammed it. I kicked it. I had to get her out. The door gave, ever so slightly. I pulled harder. It moved some more, then it opened with a groaning CREAK.

I grabbed Mom’s arm and pulled, but she was stuck. I spotted her seat belt and reached down to unbuckle it. My lungs were crying out for air again as I pulled her from the car. But we’d barely started before we were jerked to a stop. I turned and saw that something like a shadow had grabbed her other arm. At first I thought it was the Country-Western singer. I pulled but it held her tight. It was like a tug of war game, me on one arm, the shadow man on the other. And the harder I pulled—this was even weirder—but the harder I pulled, the more he started turning into this shadowy creature that kept growing bigger and bigger with huge, bat-like wings.

This is a dream, I kept telling myself, this is only a dream!

But my lungs were on fire. My vision was going all white again. This time I would not leave. I’d stay here and die with her if I had to, but I would not leave.

The pounding in my ears grew louder, filling my head . . . along with the song. That’s right, the singer or shadow or whatever it was, had begun singing again. Maybe it had never stopped:

I’ll never let you go . . . you will always be mine . . . always be mine . . . always be mine.

Well, Mr. Shadow could guess again. Dream or no dream, he could not have her.

Always be mine . . . always be mine . . .

My vision was totally white now. My mind shutting down. I could no longer feel my hands or my legs. I knew I was dying, but I would not let go. I loved her too much, I would never let go. The shadow thing may have won, but—

And then I heard a shout. “Augh!”

It sounded like Jake. But that was impossible. What would Jake be doing down here? I heard him again, even louder.



Our Thoughts

I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect when I first received the book.  I was delighted to have a Christian juvenile book in hand and showed it to my oldest son.  He wasn’t thrilled about it – knowing that I would ask him to read it maybe.  Anyhow, I said I would read it since he didn’t seem that interested in it.  I did mentioned that it was technology related but he didn’t pick it up.   So I took the book and started to read.   After an hour or so, he could see I was still reading the pages, turning them as soon as I had finished reading.   He asked to see the book by then, read the  back of it, gave it back to me and said “I guess I will read it after you’re done.”   Mmmm!

It took me two days to read it.  I really enjoyed the story (even if it is written for a younger audience) which I found packed with mysteries and twists.   Some of them are a bit farfetched I find but I knew that my kids would like the book.   So I left the book in the living room and watched to see how long it would take to disappear.  My oldest son – age 12 – quickly grabbed the book when I finished reading it.   It didn’t take long for him to give it back to me two days later.  He had finished it in a record time.   I don’t recall him reading a book so fast before.  So when I looked at him and asked him if he liked it I got an immediate response.   He looked at me with a huge smile, big eyes and rapidly nod a few times…

Each chapter in this book goes back and forth between the two main characters in the story – brother and sister.   You get their personal perspective on the events and how they work together to resolve the mystery.   The book is written at the first person which means that when you read it you have the feeling that one of the character is speaking to you.  In a way, it’s almost as if you are reading a diary from someone… well make that two people.   

If you child like technological novels, I think this book could be a great addition in his/her personal library.  It makes a great stocking stuffer for Christmas too!  

Truth Seekers – The Machine is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


The book is also available on Kindle and Kindle app.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Rory’s Story Cubes

I’ve been eyeing the Rory’s Story Cubes for a while when I decided to try to see if I could review them.   I was delighted to get a positive response and waited to receive them.   Each boxes contain 9 cubes which would permit the kids to let their imagination go wild by inventing stories using the cubes.   So I received the three different Rory’s Story Cubes to review: the original, voyages and actions.

But you might be wondering, “What are the Rory’s Story Cubes?”  Let me present you the three different ones available on the market.

GAMEWRIGHT-318Rory’s Story Cubes (Original)

Rory's Story Cubes is a pocket-sized creative story generator, providing hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory's Story Cubes, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark your imagination!   This specific set will help reinforce artistic expression, language and vocabulary development as well as creativity and imagination.

This set contains nine cubes with over 54 images.   In all you can have the possibility of creating over 10,000,000 combinations to create stories.   With these fun cubes, anyone can become a storyteller.  There won’t be any wrong ideas…  It’s easy to use since you simply have to roll the cubes and let the images spark your imagination.  There are infinite ways to play with Rory's Story Cubes. You can play solitaire or with others. Here are some suggested uses: Party game or ice-breaker, literacy development, speaking and listening skills, creative inspiration, mental workout, and problem solving.  

Fun ways to play with these cubes are:

  1. Roll all 9 cubes and look at the face up images.  Pick an image that will be the starting point for your story.  Begin with “Once upon a time…” and continue on going through all nine cubes.
  2. Think up a title or theme for a story.   Then roll all 9 cubes and try to tell the story that relates back to the title or theme.
  3. Divide the cubes evenly among the players.  Starting with one player and going through all of them, take turns rolling the cubes and adding to the story based on the images.  Stop after nine cubes are rolled or continue rolling for additional rounds.

Rory’s Story Cubes VoyagesGAMEWRIGHT-320

In this special set of Rory’s Story Cubes, prepare yourself to take a trip! This set contains nine iconic cubes that aim to inspire stories of epic adventure. Cast away on a desert island… Spin tales of a faraway land. With 54 images and millions of combinations, your journeys are bound to be endless!  Again this set is similar to the original edition and works the same way.    This specific set will reinforce creativity and imagination.  For this specific set you can play these games:

  1. My fantastic vacation – recount a recent trip you went on but embellish actual moments with the images rolled.
  2. Memorable Adventure – One person suggests a geographical location.  Taking turns, each player rolls one cube ad then says the following “On my way to (location) I encountered…”  First recount in order all of the things that previous players saw and then use the image you rolled to inspire one more element to the adventure.
  3. The Trilogy – Can you work together to create an epic three-part story?   Evenly divide the cubes among the players and then decide on a common theme.   Each player uses their cubes to tell their part of the story.  The third player has to end the tale, tying up any loose ends.

GAMEWRIGHT-319Rory’s Story Cubes Actions

Roll into action! Rory’s Story Cubes Actions features 9 cubes that illustrate 54 every day verbs. Play with them solo or combine them with other sets of Rory’s Story Cubes to kick-start your creativity and set your stories in motion.  This specific set reinfroces language and vocabulary development, visual discrimination as well as creativity and imagination.   You can play different games with this set:

  1. Past-Present-Future.  Use the action cubes as a way to practice verb tenses.  Tell a story that take place in the present.  Then tell the same story again as if it happened in the past or the future.
  2. Lights, Camera, Action!  Pick the title of a popular movie.  Then, tell a story that integrates characters and/or elements from that movie using the cubes you rolled.
  3. Re-Action – Instead of describing the action depicted on the cube, describe the opposite action.  Example:  your cube show someone crying then you will describe someone laughing.
  4. Show Some Action.   When you use each action cube, mime or act out the action shown instead of saying it out loud.

The boxes are quite small and will easily fit in a bag if you travel somewhere.   With each combination, your child can create numerous stories in order to practice his/her imagination.   Out of the blue, my kids would pick up one,two or all of the set and play with them this summer while we were doing the hardwood flooring.   It was a great way to work together making up stories.  Often I would hear the younger ones laughing at what they came up with.   Even if these are geared for ages 8 and up, my 5 and 7 years old children had a blast rolling the cubes and making up stories based on the images they would get.    I also find that these could be fabulous to encouraged a reluctant writer.  It can bring up ideas for this child while he writes stories.    image The best part is that you can mix the cubes to create from activities for your kids based on the three kits available!

Bottom line, I find these cubes very creative and fun to have.   You could also use them while traveling long distance in the car.    We are planning a trip to Florida maybe next year and you can bet that I will bring these gems with me.   It’s perfect to encourage the kids to write stories while driving.   Only things though, I need to plan a plastic container of some sort in order to keep all the cubes in one place and avoid loosing one.   On the other end, I could also choose to use the Rory’s Story Cubes app which is available on iTunes.

The Rory’s Story Cubes boxes are available for purchase separately or together at and

AMAZON.CA quick links purchase

AMAZON.COM quick links purchase


Disclaimer: Thanks to The Creativity Hub for sending me the products 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.

Glow Crazy Doodle Dome

Glow Crazy Doodle Dome
Distributed by RP Toys


The GLOW CRAZY Doodle Dome is a place to draw with light, anytime of the day or night!  With Doodle Dome your kids can pretend to be anything they want – a captain on a rocket ship or a farmer in a glow barn.   The light want will make all the drawings glow on the special liner in the dome.  Their creations will fade after a few moments so the adventure can continue as they draw it.    The dome comes with a handy carrying case, the light pen, and four stencils.    You can carry the tent wherever you go so your kids can be entertained anytime and anywhere.

When I received this dome I immediately saw many opportunities to encourage my kids imagination as well as their writing.   It is perfect to encourage my younger child to practice her letters and numbers on the liner or my youngest son to practice spelling words.    Seriously, the simple fact that it disappears and you can write again is fabulous!   But this dome can also allow my kids to explore their imagination by creating various stories while in the dome.   I only wish that there would be more than one pen in the box. When you think of the possibilities as an homeschool mom, you can quickly think of a lot of ideas on how to use this dome with your kids.

Watch this video to see how it works!

Glow Crazy Doodle Dome Canada Commercial from Creative Bube Tube on Vimeo.

Not included are 2 AAA batteries.

The GLOW CRAZY Doodle Dome is available at your favourite toy store, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to RP Toys for sending me the 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.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Step-By-Step Cake Decorating

9781465414410HStep-By-Step Cake Decorating
Published at DK Canada

About the book

From delicate creations for weddings to fantastical birthday cupcakes, Step-by-Step Cake Decorating contains 20 remarkable projects for every occasion. There are more than 100 pages of step-by-step icing, piping, stenciling, painting, and cutting techniques. Each cake recipe includes fun, unique tips and variations for turning it into cupcakes and cake pops. Home bakers looking to impress their friends and family with gorgeous confections will love these smart, elegant projects.

My Thoughts

Before I even had kids, I decided to take a Wilton Cake Decorating class at Michael’s.   I really enjoyed it and started making cake for our family.  Soon, we had a child and we brighten his birthdays with special cakes.   It didn’t take long to have two other boys and one girl in our family.  With four kids in the house it doesn’t take long for getting requests of special cakes.  As you can see below, I have experienced a variety of requests through the years from cake pan based to complete out of the ordinary ones.




I even made a special one for Easter one year.


But the last couple of years, I have been thinking of taking a new level of cake decorating course – working with fondant.   I have been eyeing fondant for quite some time and when I saw that a new book dedicated only to cake decorating was now available at DK Canada, I wanted to explore it.   Imagine my delight when I received it and started to explore the book. I will admit that my daughter almost jumped on it when she saw it…  She somewhat already made her request for his birthday in December.   I could learn various techniques in cake decorating and become better at it.   I could even try out fondant at home by following the instructions find in this book.   I am in quite pleased with the way the book is put together.  There is a ton of pictures that will guide you through the process of cake decorating and allow you to expand your designs.   Let’s explore the table of contents together;

  • Decoration Planner –  Numerous ideas for a variety of themes like floral, children, novelty, elegant, and special occasions.
  • Tools and equipment – In this section, you will learn what tools you will need to start a cake decorating business – or simply decorate amazing cakes for your family!
  • Key ingredients – This section provides recipes to make buttercream frosting, royal icing, marzipan, chocolate icing, fondant, gum paste and mexican paste.
  • Decorating techniques – As the title says, this section will present you a wide variety of techniques which you can explore and develop your expertise with.  The techniques are 3-D creations, piping, hand-modeling, using cutters and molds, stenciling, painting, imaging and finishing touches.
  • Projects – This section will present you numerous projects to create for all occasions: train cake, dinosaur cake, princess castle, pirate ship cake, soccer ball cake, football cake, butterflies and blossoms, Halloween pumpkin cake, Teddy bear mini cakes, newborn celebration cake, gingerbread house, shades of pink cake, cupcake bouquet, heart-shaped posy cake, handbag cake, blossom stenvil cake, suitcase cake, Cigarillo wedding cake, Filigree wedding cake, festive yule log, festive fruitcake, ruffled cake,
  • Cake Basics – This section offers a variety of cake recipes like sponge cake, carrot cake, pound cake, chocolate cake, traditional fruitcake, red velvet cake, gingerbread,  and some techniques on how to cook, prepare, and present your cakes.
  • Templates – Templates are also offered at the end of the book in order to create some of the ideas presented in it.
  • Adapting cake quantities – Finally, at the end of the book, you can find a useful page helping you to adapt your recipes depending of the size of the cake you desire to do.   This is definitively useful for anyone making cakes.

As I mentioned I am highly interested in the fondant recipe and to make fun cakes for my kids upcoming birthdays.   I will definitively explore this in the weeks to come in order to be ready when their birthdays arrive in November and December.   I definitively don’t want to wait at the last minute to try it out but with our RV close for the winter season now, I think I will have more time to try it out.   I am very excited in trying this out and see how it will turns out.  

The book is definitively a must for anyone who wants to do cake decorating.   Whether you are a novice or an expert, I think this book contains something for you.   The fact that each technique is presented as a step-by-step method with plenty of directions and photos is fabulous.   You simply have to follow the instructions, check the photos and voilà you can slowly master new techniques to amaze your family and friends with your cake decorating talents.  I am delighted to have this book in hands in order to make new masterpieces for birthdays.

Step-By-Step Cake Decorating is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada 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.

TODAY ONLY–The King Raven Trilogy on Sale at

This looks like a very interesting trilogy – an unknown author for me to discover.     The price is fabulous and it’s only for the Kindle and Kindle app.



From the author of The Pendragon Cycle comes a completely reimagined epic of Robin Hood, "prince of thieves"! Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan flees his father's kingdom for the greenwood. Set within the primeval forest along the Welsh border, Lawhead's retelling renders an earthy, eerie, more powerful tale than ever before.


After losing everything he owns, Forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest, and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion, Will joins the heroic archer and his men. However, Will ends up in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging,unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts. That, of course, he will never do. Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught.

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The story of Rhi Bran y Hud-Robin Hood-concludes as Abbot Hugo and the Norman invaders attempt to wipe out King Raven and his flock once and for all. Their merciless attack, the first of many to come, heralds a dark and desperate day for the realm of Elfael. Bran and his few stalwarts desperately need encouragement and reinforcement if they are to survive. But Friar Tuck, a most unconventional priest, has a daring solution to their dilemma that will radically alter all we've known about the legendary figure known as Robin Hood.


Each title of this series is currently on sale for the price of 1.99$ U.S.  So you will pay less than 6$ for them.  If you are like me and love to explore new authors every once in a while, I think this series would be fabulous to explore…  Available for the Kindle and Kindle app at and!




Saturday, September 21, 2013


imagePandemic – Can You Save Humanity?
by Z-Man Games

A friend of ours strongly suggested that we checked out the collaborative game Pandemic when we inquired of different type of games to him.  This friend of ours is big on games that involve role playing and he immediately thought of this one for us.   Turns out that it was a perfect timing because they were going to release a new version of the Pandemic game in the weeks to come.  

When I received my game, I was intrigued but the goal of the game.   Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out.  Compared to other types of games that most family play sometimes, this specific game is a collaborative one which means that players must work together in other to achieve the goal.   Each has to play their character and use his/her strengths in order to plan a strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks.   But the diseases are outbreaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures.   You never know if you will win as a team or loose to the disease. 
In your box you will find the following items:  board game, the 7 role cards and matching pawns, 6 research stations, 6 wooden markers, 96 disease cubes, 48 infection cards, 59 player cards, reference cards as well as a rulebook.  I strongly suggest that you take the time to read the rules before starting the game.   Doing so will save time and energy in trying to figure out something in the middle of a game.   The rules are well written and pretty clear but there are so many twists in this collaborative game that you need to be inform before embarking in a race against the clock to save the planet from the pandemic situation.


I really love how colorful the card are and how you can easily identify yourself with your character.   In all you will find seven roles that you can choose from: the researcher, the operations expert, the scientist, the contingency planner, the dispatcher,  the medic, and the quarantine specialist.   Each of these roles has strength that you need to use in order to try to contain and eliminate the treat of a pandemic.     The game require 2-4 players and can last up to 45 minutes.


So one day, I set up this game in the dining room for my sons and I to play during the quiet time of the younger ones.   This game is definitively more advanced than what we were used to.   Keeping the younger kids at bay was wise because it would have been more challenging to play this with them around. Though the game is primarily geared toward age 12 and up, my 9 years old son enjoyed playing with his big brother and me when we tried it.   It was very different than typical games where you compete against each other because this time we had to work together in order to save the world.   Each of us were a member of a disease-fighting team and we had to keep the deadly diseases in check and try as much as we could to eliminate them. 


Turns out we won the battle this time but since this is a cooperative game, you never know how the next game will turn out.   I definitively want to play this with my husband (he was extremely busy the past few months so he didn’t have time to sit down, read the instructions and enjoy the game with us this time around).   I believe that this game will become a favorite in our winter months.   It’s a great way to spend time together, to work together toward the main goal, to strategize together and to stir the conversation between each other.   I am very impressed with Pandemic and look forward to play more with it.

You can purchase the game Pandemic at your favourite specialized games store – even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Z-Man Games for sending me the 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.

Nanoblock–Sites to See

Nanoblock Sites to Seeimage_thumb[1]
From RP Toys

My kids are passionate about block construction.  So when I got the opportunity to review the nanoblocks I jumped on it.   This time around (I first got introduced to them last year.), I received a set from the Sites to See collection which transport you to a specific monument around the world.   There are plenty of kits to choose from but in the Sites to See collection you could purchase the Big Ben, Chrysler Buiding, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building. White House, Giant Banyan Tree, Mont Saint-Michel, Kaminarimon, Deluxe Space Shuttle, Neuschwanstein Deluxe, Kinkakuji Temple, Sagrada Familia, Moai Statues, Neuschwanstein (mini), Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal and the one we received the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

imageWhat I particularly like about the Sites to See collection is that it can be intertwined with geography studies for homeschoolers.  Studying Italy – no problem, build the Leaning Tower of Pisa.   Jumping to France next, plan in advance and get the Eiffel Tower at the same time.  This would definitively make your lessons more interesting – especially if you have kids who enjoy building with blocks…

You don’t have to be an engineer to create with nanoblock – the trick in only in handling the small size…  With these micro-sized building blocks, 3D buildings take shape right beneath your fingers.   The tiniest detail is also incorporated in these packs.  The Leaning Tower of Pisa kit contains over 530 assorted size pieces.  Once completed, the structure will fit perfectly in the palm of your hand.  The finished size is 3.125″ x 3.125″ x 5.625″.  Incuded in the package are detailed color instructions. 

Obviously because of the small size of the blocks, the nanoblock products are not designed for children under the age of 8 years old. The level of Difficulty of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a  2  (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most difficult).   Due to small parts that can be choking hazard this product is NOT for children under the age of three years old.  Personally, I would avoid giving this to children under 8 years old.

As a personal challenge, I think I would be interested in building the Deluxe Neuschwanstein Castle which contains over 5,800 pieces including LED lights.   Doesn’t it look majestic?


The nanoblock products are available at your favourite toy store, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to RP Toys for sending me the 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.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Jim Rubart Trilogy : Rooms, Book of Days, and The Chair

imageThis summer, I decided to try reading a new author – well new to me anyway.  Jim Rubart was my choice partly because I was able to get the first book Rooms for free at some point in time on   Well I truly enjoyed it and read the whole book in a record time.  From there, I purchased Book of Days and another of his titles that was newer – Soul’s Gate.

I knew that I need to finish the trilogy with The Chair which I have not purchased yet but guess what!   The trilogy of Rooms, Book of Days and The Chair is currently on sale for the Kindle (and Kindle app for that matter) for the price of 3.49 $ (compared to 39.99 $!).

Here’s a little tidbit on each books:

Rooms, a profound spiritual tale spun with imaginative flair, transports you to rainy Seattle where software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic note telling of a beachfront home he inherited from an uncle he hasn’t seen in twenty-five years. Micah soon discovers there is more to this home than what is on the surface—it is in fact a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.

Book of Days, a fast-paced and thought provoking allegory (and “a great read, why people buy books” according to award-winning author Dan Walsh), explores the power of memories and the lengths some will go to just to keep them alive. Cameron, struggling to remember his wife who was killed two years earlier in an accident, seeks an ancient book to save his mind. But others want to claim it for more nefarious purposes.

The Chair, a dynamic fast paced thriller, tells the story of a chair claimed to have been made by Jesus Christ himself. Antique dealer Corin Roscoe, who skeptically bought the chair from an elderly lady, is forced to reconsider its authenticity after a young boy is miraculously healed after sitting in it. Word quickly spreads of the chair’s power, and Corin’s life begins to shatter as he searches for the truth about the artifact and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it. And he's not the only one willing do almost anything to possess the power seemingly connected to the chair.


To be honest, I don’t think it’s a deal you should pass…. They are amazing books that will keep you on the edge.   I wish that The Chair would be on sale too!  *grin*

I highly encourage you to purchase this amazing deal and read the book.  You might discover a new author and enjoy it as much as I had…